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New Year, New Me?

It’s 11pm on New Year’s Eve and I wanted to take a few minutes to write about the year that was 2020.

It was a year full of challenges, but I don’t hold any ill will towards it. I know how fortunate I am to have escaped the worst of those challenges and I’m grateful for that. Bushfires, Kobe Bryant’s passing, Black Lives Matter, Trump, QAnon, COVID-19, COVID conspiracy theories… So much upset me in 2020, and at times left me feeling as though this is a dark world in which we live.

But there has also been light. The way most people banded together to do the right thing, whether that was donating to bushfire victims, wearing a mask, non-violently protesting, or voting for the future direction they want for their country. I’ve been brought to tears of happiness many times as I’ve watched news stories of perseverance, courage, and resilience.

And I found some of my own, too.

I welcomed two beautiful rescue kittens into my home and heart. I made commitments to myself: first it was to walk every day, then to journal every day, and then to work on my book every day. I kept these small commitments and showed myself that I’m as worthy as anyone else in my life of keeping promises to. I also finally got my sleep pattern under control!

Photo of Karen

I went for months where I only saw a handful of people—my partner, the lovely man at the post office, the checkout attendant at Woolies, and (eventually) my work colleagues. I got used to washing and sanitising my hands all the time, carrying sanitiser, then wearing a mask, and now using the QR code check-in system whenever I go anywhere.

Social distancing is second nature. Shaking everyone’s hand has gone out the window and I’m not sorry about that.

I’ve used this year to get to know myself better, to work on parts of me that needed healing, and to address the behaviours I don’t like in myself and introduce more of the ones I do. Even in the last two months, I’ve grown. I’ve read some things that really hit home, and while I will go gently, I’m done with my own crap. I’m done with allowing perfectionism to run my life. Done with my own excuses. Yep, the last few years have been challenging. Yep, I was a legitimate victim of crime and I’m not downplaying that, but I don’t have to continue being a victim. I choose not to be. I choose to live a rich life, as the perpetrator of that crime sits in prison. That is the best way I can ever take back the power from him.

I welcome 2021 with open arms, but I’m still thankful to 2020 for the good I was able to extract from it. I now look forward to a year where I care less about hiding my vulnerability. Where expressing myself openly matters more than doing it in the ‘right’ words, the ‘right’ way. Where I don’t allow the fear of making a mistake stop me from trying anything at all. Where I just do stuff, instead of thinking about it over and over.

I can’t bloody wait.

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