2017 has been referred to as a dumpster fire more times than I can count and in a million ways it was. Nonetheless, many of us managed to make Dumpster Fire Lemonade out of Dumpster Fire Lemons. And looking back at my life honestly, there hasn't been much I've been willing to change until it was nearly burnt to the ground.
2017 turned my son into an activist. There's nothing like watching your civil liberties go up in smoke to get you into real high gear. My 12 year old joined the ACLU, sponsored two ACLU events, started an ACLU club at his middle school and designed a website called Activism 10. I am proud as hell of my son and everyone else who has transformed from regular civilian earthlings into badass warriors of the peaceful resistance.
2017 got me on medication and back into therapy. I can still cry, but I no longer cry for three days straight. It's been a long time since I've driven to a parking lot just to weep. 2017 allowed me to call uncle and seek out the extra help I need.
2107 has led me to excavating ancient wounds within my own heart. Yesterday, while talking about the deep shame I have surrounding the house I grew up in that I live in still, my therapist asked me my most disturbing memory around money. It wasn't growing up in a small house on food stamps and welfare, thrift stores or yard sales, reduced lunch tickets or rummaging through the couch cushions for spare change. It was falling in love with a gazillionaire when I worked a candy counter at a movie theater. It was lending him the money that he never paid back. It was his accusation that I was too emotional about money. It was telling him I loved him in my $500 Honda with a Barbie gloriously glue-gunned to the hood and his reply: "you have a really shitty car." It was that ax to the gut when I didn't have a strong enough core to deflect anything someone I adored threw my way. It was absorbing someone else's trash and allowing it to burn.
2017 has given me the agency to continue the hard work of reclaiming myself. Yes, sometimes it's like wading through a cave in waist deep mud with a toothpick and a match. Some days the best I can do is stay in bed eating frosted brownie bites. Some days though, the prayer, meditation, meds, therapy, friends, family and every 12 step program known to woman kind pays off. And now I can't wait to see what 2018 has in store.