2020: Word of the Year

At the end of 2018, I made a post about my word of the year–the theme, if you will, on which I wanted to focus my energy. For 2018, the word was “Renaissance.” I was just out of college and wanted to be “Reborn” into someone new.

I wrote this about the word of the year for 2019:

“For 2019, I think my word of the year will be “Release.” I have changed my life for the better. Now, it is time to let go of all the pain of the past.

“It is going to be a challenge, but a worthy one. I want to be able to forgive and forget, to move on, to let it go.

“I need to stop indulging in escapism and bottling up. I need to learn how to feel my feelings, acknowledge them, and let them go. I need to learn how to let go, how to move on, how to accept that people don’t change and things don’t change and all I can change is myself. I want to be able to let it all go. I want to be able to have my mind free of worry, both about the past and about the future.

“My worrying is the biggest threat to my life. It threatens to ruin job(s) and relationships all the time. I need to get a hold on it, and the best way to do that is to learn how to release.”

Did I succeed?

I think so.

I wrote a poetry memoir, and I released a lot of what was stuck inside me in those poems. Sharing them made me put into the world that which was stuck in my head for so many years. It was freeing.

While I still have pain, I have a lot less of it, and that’s really all you could ask for. I’m doing better at meditating and growing. I feel like a more completely healed person.

I think I did a good job of releasing.

So what next? What for 2020?

Well, I decided that I am done with my past. I wrote it out, I got it out, and–while I’m still going to try to get those poems published, which would be rad–I’m moving on. Enough of focusing on the past, enough defining myself by my fading pain. It’s time, finally, to take my healed and stronger self and catapult into my life, myself, my future.

Speaking of “stronger self,” well, that’s it. Strength. Strength is my word of the year for 2020.

I am interpreting Strength like the tarot card strength. An inner strength. A feminine strength, based on respect and the kind of power that doesn’t come from violence. I want to be strong. I want to be a force of nature.

Like this waterfall I’m getting doused in.DSCF9209.JPG

I want to be able to be strong when I need to be, but gentle when I need to be, too. I want to be like water.

I have a lot of barriers to break through this year. I am taking three grad classes and doing a ton of editing (did I ever tell you guys I work for a book editing company, now? It’s so much fun! My days are filled with books<3), all while working my day job and tutoring creative writing. I have so much going on it’s crazy. I need to be strong to handle it all.

And that strength is already in me. I think I can use my newfound powers of release to bring it out.

Happy New Year, everyone. Let’s kill it.

Leaving

That’s it. The next intern is officially trained, and by this time tomorrow I’ll be officially out of here.

The nostalgia is real. I’ll not only miss the job and the people, but the color of the cubicles. The corn muffins for breakfast. The Liberty Mutual letter opener. The Sharknado poster. There are so many little things around here that I’ll miss. I’m never going to reenter this building again after Friday.

Yikes. I mean, I’ve already left several places before. Three schools, for instance. Five jobs. After each “last day” there were things and people I’ve never seen again. Even old friends’ houses, though with less warning. There was a time when I left their house for the last time, but I didn’t know it.

I can’t help getting emotionally attached to places. I’m introverted; I spend more time paying attention to inanimate objects than animate ones. My keyboard! I’ll have to leave my work keyboard tomorrow, the very keyboard I’m typing this post on. My computer, my crappy old Dell computer. My phone, with the blinking voicemail. The maps and lists and tips and tricks on my walls. The guidebook that was my bible for the first month or so.

Soon they’ll even take my email from me. Gosh! I like this job, though. I wish I could stay longer. I’m still learning. I just learned where the second bathroom is, the same day I finished training my replacement.

Leaving is rough. Leaving is hard. But I have to just keep on reminding myself that it’s a good thing.

Sure, I won’t get to be a Boston Globe reporter anymore, and I won’t see my friends anymore, and I won’t be able to be in this building anymore. But I also won’t have to drive an hour and a half twice a day in rush hour. I won’t have to do all those tedious intern duties. I’ll be able to freelance. I’ll be able to go on to the next big adventure.

It’s good to look on the bright side of bittersweet.

Pros-only

Today I begin training the new co-op! She’ll be here in about an hour. Jeez. It feels like there’s so much to learn. I’ve been here for six months and I’m still learning; I just learned the right way to crop photos about two weeks ago!

The co-op guide book is like the inside cover of a book you get in school, signed with students’ names from years and years ago. There are three different highlighter colors, several notes and snarky tips in the margins, and so many post its it is hard to navigate. When the guide book needs its own guide book, you know you’re in trouble.

I basically made her a whole new one, with fresh pages and clean type, changing all the differences between the old system and the new.

Of course, she’ll have more than crap computers to worry about. The Globe is moving location near the end of her co-op. Half the cubicles that were here when I began are now either empty or taken out altogether. When I began there were four staff writers in regionals, now there aren’t any.

Well. No matter. It’s going to be a long day, but a fun one. I do wish we had more than three days.

My last day is Friday. It feels like senior year of high school all over again, which I used to bemoan as a year of lasts. Last drama performance, last orchestra concert, last this, last that. It’s similar here, though instead of four years it was only half of one.

Whenever things end, I try to tell myself that it’s okay. It’s just making room for the next grand adventure. I assure myself that I will find something else, something amazing and awesome and better. Even when things don’t seem like they’ll get better, I promise myself that they will.

I make a pros list, without an accompanying cons list. Right now, some top pros are spending more time with my family and friends, not having to wake up at 6 to drive an hour into Boston, not having to do all the tedious intern duties, and being able to freelance more.

Yeah. It’s a pros-only sort of time.