This year tried to kill me. For real. There’s no hyperbole in that statement.
Cancer come along and tried to take my life and many of the things that make life worth living.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the constant reminders of racial injustice almost stole my joy.
The deaths of loved ones almost took my hope.
But in spite of it all, I kept going.
Yesterday I shared my Top 9 Instagram posts from 2020 on my IG grid. And then I challenged myself to also make a list of nine good things that happened this year.
In spite of everything that happened this year, See Jane Write kept growing. We welcomed 60 new members this year and hosted challenges to help you be more consistent with blogging and social media and even writing for yourself. I did several virtual speaking engagements and hosted lots of virtual workshops, too. Through See Jane Write’s partnership with Reckon Women, I helped dozens of women see their work published on ReckonSouth.com. (Here’s a look back at some of the Reckon Women Voices essays from this year that I hope will inspire you to write and submit an essay of your own in 2021.)
In spite of everything my body went through this year, I kept walking. I vowed to walk for exercise for at least 30 minutes every day this year and I did. I walked after surgeries, after chemotherapy infusions, and after radiation treatments. I walked in virtual races like the DC Wonder Woman 10K. I was quoted in Oprah magazine because of my walking resolution. And with the #seejanewalk challenge, I encouraged you to pound the pavement with me.
In spite of everything, I somehow actually had fun this year, whether I was watching great movies or dressing as Watchmen’s Sister Night for Halloween.
In spite of everything, I kept writing. This was my most successful year as a freelance writer but the most important writing I did this year was the writing I did for myself. As I flip through my journals it becomes clear to me that I wrote my way through cancer and now I’m convinced I can write my way through anything.
This is my New Year’s wish for you — that you would see that instead of putting writing on the back burner when life gets turned upside down, we should turn to writing to help life make sense again.
It’s December 31 and I’m still here.
Since I was a young girl New Year’s Eve has been my favorite holiday because it’s a day full of anticipation and dreams.
In spite of all 2020 put me — and you — through, New Year’s Eve is still my favorite holiday.
And today these words from my favorite Lucille Clifton poem have never meant as much to me as they do now:
with me that every day
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.