2018 was a year of intense and overwhelming pain for me: Continued pain of the loss of Olivia; Past pain from childhood; Pain of inadequacy and confusion with my work; Financial pains and shame. 2018 was the year I began to feel many of these pains and traumas for the first time.
So, I look back on 2018 with great appreciation and great pride, because the beginnings of the feeling of all these pains can only mean one thing: I have begun to find the courage to feel.
Toward the end of this year, I have begun to feel another thing: hope. Not the kind of hope you're "supposed to have". Not the kind of hope I was asked by many (well-meaning) people to have during the months following Olivia's death. Not the kind of hope which exists in your head while your body remains frozen... actually, the exact opposite. I have begun to feel the kind of hope which one can only feel in one's body, in the bones, and my head can't understand it. This kind of hope can't be understood. It can't be conjured up. It can only be received.
2018 was a year of beginning to receive.
My hope for myself in 2019 is that I continue to receive--not just the pain and not just the hope, but whatever is real and true... whatever is. My resolution for 2019 is that, in addition to the courage it will take to continue this path myself, I will have the courage to help others (who want to) travel this path as well.
I don't know how to do any of this.
I enter 2019 with no answers, no money, no fame, no plan. I enter only with a lot of pain, exhaustion, some songs and some books I wrote, my wife and family and friends, and a shred of hope in my bones.