I write this from a new place and an old place. I am in a new room in a new house, but still in my old neighbourhood. Several stories ended for me in the new year, but this new beginning will carry me into 2022, and shape the year in ways I cannot fully predict.
But, backtrack. 2021 was an interesting year, and there are so many things that I am grateful for. I graduated in March and took home three awards from my university. I participated in Clarion West’s Six-Week write-a-thon with my friend Cosmata Lindie and learned so much about my own writing process. I also made a critique partner and watched them get a story published in Fiyah magazine. And speaking of Fiyah, I attended FiyahCon, too, and spent a whole weekend basking in creativity and beauty and joy. I attended the Voodoonauts workshop, and learned and healed and made new friends. I want to catch up with them more in the new year. And lastly, I am moving into a new house, where I have a bigger room and more space and privacy to create in the new year. While I have most of what I need, there’s still more to fix and arrange, but am looking forward to what I can do in a space where I can stretch my limbs and be so free.
Sadly, 2021 wasn’t all about achievement and opportunity. There was a lot of loss, too. Two of my university classmates passed this year, one month after the other. My grandmother’s caretaker passed as well. I always knew that geriatric care was hard, but the reality of it sank in over the last few months. I am happy that I could help to care for her, but I admit that it was exhausting and sometimes upsetting. The sacrifices of time and energy also lead to lost opportunities, but I hope that I can catch up with those in the upcoming year. If not, I know some new ones will arise.
2021 was a rough year, but it had its rewarding moments. I look forward to where 2022 will take me now. There is so much I want to read and learn, so many people I want to connect with, so many opportunities out there and so many stories I want to tell. I am happy to go into this year with hope rather than dread, even if that hope is cautious from the lessons of the last year. So much has happened and so much will happen.
And I plan to make the best of it.
Here’s to 2022!