“Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving” – Psalm 50:14
This is the time of December for all the Christmas gratitude posts. Then, the week between Christmas and New Year’s, it’s the time for all the “year-in-review” articles and the “top X of the year” listicles. I’m not sure what you get from me here. Perhaps this a bit of both. Perhaps the opposite. Perhaps it’s most like an overly truthful Christmas-card letter.
Freelancing full-time is turning out to be thrilling and energizing and fun and challenging and joyful, while somehow simultaneously core-shakingly anxiety-producing.
Nearing the end of this year, I’m more… More what? Raw. Tender. I just feel – well. Like I’ve been through the apocryphal wringer.
Let me be clear. I am healthy, for now. I have money in the bank, for now. I have a roof over my head, for now. I have people who have humbled me with their help. This year, some very good things happened. Many would literally kill for all that I have and I understand how rich I am with undeserved blessings.
But, well, yeah. I got cancer. I spent a lot of this year researching, driving, waiting, getting poked and scanned and sliced and rummaged around in, racking up the biggest bills I’ve ever seen, and all the rest that comes with that.
And I got laid off. I spent a lot of the last few months making phone calls, writing emails, fiddling with resumes and applications and profiles, figuring out what I want, networking, pitching myself, and all the rest that comes with that.
Both of these situations have played out so much better than they do for countless people. I’ve worked very hard to make that happen and I’ve also been very lucky. But to be blunt? I’ve done a lot of crying. I’ve felt incredibly alone, very often. I feel unsafe and frightened, even still.
Is it possible to be honest without being vulnerable? It’d be nice if you could. Much less cold and open and risky.
I don’t like writing this post. It’s uncomfortable. It’s true, though. I am not always so very good at change, or at losing control, or letting people in, or at needing help, and this year has been all of that in spades. So. This Christmas, I’m a bit chaotic and disheveled. I’m figuring out what my life is. I’m a bit sore and winded in my soul. I’m a bit unmoored, a bit off balance, a bit shaky.
I know that, in hindsight, I’m going to be grateful, so grateful, for all of this uncomfortableness. I AM grateful for it, even right now in the midst of it. What got shook up was what needed shaking up. And I am, on the whole, so happy. But to just tell you that I’m grateful and happy, festive though that is, isn’t the whole story and isn’t exactly honest. It didn’t seem right.
Not exactly Christmassy, but this song has been around me this week and it seemed like a right way to end this post: