I've seen this quote around the interwebs a lot recently, and couldn't rival it with a better metaphor for the patience that growth asks of you if I tried. If you had told me this time last year, or honestly even like a few months ago, that I'd be feeling the way I do right in this moment, I'd have rolled my eyes into the back of my head. But what a difference a year makes, as they say.
Typically when we think of a year, we think of calendar years or the space between birthdays. But sometimes periods in our lives are so critical we don't realize it until we've had twelve months of living past them to reflect back on. Today being a year since I deleted my Twitter, I can't help but be reminded of the day I planted the seed. Of how virtually fucked everything felt in that moment. How depressed, ashamed, hopeless, and worthless I felt. How sure I was that I'd never experience a love that didn't come with a side of pain. How convinced I was that I'd never make connections with people I didn't feel obligated to perform for. Positive it was too late for me to begin realizing any of my dreams. Just completely and utterly out of faith in any and everything.
I've not been given many reasons to write about or think of love in a positive light. Surely, love has evoked positive feelings. Mostly lust, idealism (which I'm not entirely sure is positive), and hope. But typically it's heartbreak that's moved me to express myself. And for that reason, any time that I've felt inspired to speak on love in such a way, to shed light on what it has done for me and how it has saved me and enriched my life, I am quickly restrained by doubt and fear of naivety.
While it's not the sole reason I'm blooming, so to speak, a healthy relationship has been one of the key ingredients to my healing process. As much as society, and subsequently the internet, may push an independent agenda--rigid with "protecting your energy," often ill-fitting use of the term "self-care," and what is now referred to as "cancel culture"--I cannot stress enough how important healthy companionship and friendship is. I'm fortunate to have found both in one individual, in a way that has (slowly but surely) empowered me. Love and support from the right person is a blessing, and while it's easy to say that I wish I met them sooner, etc. I now have full trust in our timing. I was loved, unconditionally, through one of the toughest periods of my life. I was lifted up higher than I've ever been before, at a time during which I felt repulsive and like I had nothing of value to offer.
And even that was no magic cure. I was loved that way before I could see, understand, or believe it. I was stubborn, skeptical, and self-destructive. This is not about spending the past year in bliss. It's about that moment after weathering a huge storm when you realize that the sky is finally clearing. It's about relief. And about having faith, again.
I have fleeting moments where I obsess over my time here, and what kind of impact I'm making or not making. Moments where I freak myself out about religion, my views on marriage, and daydreams about my family or the career I could have if I actually found some direction. And then I pause and smile to myself, because this time last year, all I could think about was dying. Now my biggest concern is that I'm living enough.