I haven’t really been able to write lately. In fact, I’ve been experiencing writers-block. What should I write about? What’s next? So this is the result: an unplanned post that I still have no clue where it’s going to go. Let’s make it candid, alright? (except for proof-reading of course). Will this post even be published? If you are reading this, it means it was, which is a good sign that it gets better.
So the main purpose of this blog was for me to release my ropes. My friend asked me what that meant, and I explained to her that it’s a symbolic sort of meaning to me. Each rope represents something that is tying me down and keeping me from reaching that version of myself that I have been trying to become since 2016. Releasing each “rope” isn’t that easy, you see, I need to learn how to release each one. Every time that happens, I learn a new lesson, and a new skill. Really, I could be releasing ropes for the rest of my life, but each time I hope to go up higher and in doing so, I am much closer.
2019 was the year where everything was happening, at least for me. I was happy and had hit so many milestones by that point as well as reach the dream I’ve had since being 8 years old: attend an international convention. That was the highlight of my two-month long, 8 country travel that summer. I then arrived home and went straight to Pioneer school. I felt like I was riding the high wave and that with Jehovah’s help, nothing would be able to hold me back. Things were happening, prayers were being answered and bigger goals were being formed. This was the person that entered full speed into 2020.
At one point during the convention in Berlin, during one of the last days, I remember looking around and taking it in as how I knew I would remember it. Everyone was crowded together with huge smiles, singing and dancing. It was complete euphoria. Amidst all that joy, I had a thought: what is Jehovah preparing us for so that we may have this beautiful memory to hold on to? I brushed it off and went back to enjoying it all as the thought went to the back of my head.
This year, 2020, has been… need I say anything else? You all know what it’s been like. Still, each experience has been unique. Some have had it horribly because of other health issues, and deaths. Others have fallen victims to other natural disasters. The list is quite long and each challenge that we have faced while isolating, somehow has changed us. The people we were back in February, are different from the people we are now. It’s been an intense training.
The pandemic came in like a whirlwind. “It should be gone in about two weeks”…. “Maybe it’ll be gone by the summer…”… “we’ll try to have it controlled by the end of the year”…. Nope, we all know very well it hasn’t happened at all that way. Other things have been thrown into this mix of chaos soup.
I don’t completely feel like the girl from February. I act like her, yes, but I know she is a bit dormant and comes out whenever she remembers the great times and whenever I need that motivation to keep pushing forward. She’s the one I put on when I want to make others feel better. Still, sometimes, I need to really face how I feel instead of pushing it away. All the things I would’ve been doing right this moment aren’t happening and I realize and have come to understand that it isn’t selfish to feel horrible about it from time to time. That too needs to be released to lighten the load and remember that I will still make it someday. It’s part of the journey. My journey.
I know I’m not alone in how much I miss spending time with my friends. I miss that feeling of walking in through the Kingdom Hall doors and it being okay to expect someone being on the other side to greet us with a smile, because someone always was. I miss my evening service group and all of us ordering from the kids menu at Chipotle for dinner because the prices are more “pioneer friendly”. I miss going to the assembly hall and helping with the First Aid Department and meeting new brothers and sisters from other sign language congregations. I miss the post-assembly dinners at a local restaurant where some friends and I would go to talk and continue to encourage each other with the great points we learned earlier in the day and rejoice in each others company. I miss cooking with my friends and watching movies with them in my house or theirs after a nice hike. I miss gatherings with the delicious foods. I miss going to the beach and having the deep conversations along the way only for them to continue while we sit together watching the sunset. I miss dance parties where the music was so loud, you could feel the beat inside your chest and just let yourself move to the rhythm along with others. I miss playing music live with my friends.
I even miss the smaller things. I miss going to a new place to try the food together and sharing our food with each other. I miss hearing the sounds and echoes of a busy mall or shopping center when we didn’t have to worry about the distance between us and others as we went out looking for someone to preach to. I miss the screeches in the breaks whenever we took the bus and metro trains while visiting the cities. I miss the music concerts or open mic nights where we heard the art pieces and at times felt the breathing between the tears of everyone in the audience as they listened. I miss the smell of airports and chimes and sounds that are made every so often to repeat new information. I miss the rumbles and screams from theme parks coming from roller coasters. I miss the sounds of opening the umbrellas when the rain begins to fall. I miss the tapping sounds of the shoes on a dance floor. I also miss the soft murmuring that goes on in the background during a bonfire (yes, with s’mores).
Yes… I even miss hugs. I miss hugs from my friends and the brothers and sisters from the congregation. I miss the automatic body motions of a dear friend leaning in to give me a hug when they can read it in my face that I need one, even though I’m trying to convince them that I’m okay… or when I know I absolutely can’t (those are some of the best ones). I miss those side hugs we do when we pose to take a picture… I even miss those awkward hugs that accidentally choke you because the shoulder ends up on your neck, but I miss the laughs with apologies that always followed (lol).
I guess I’ve just been afraid of missing all of this because I’ve been holding on to the hope of doing it all again soon, but I think it’s been long enough to where I just need to let myself miss it all.
I know, I am just one in a billion stories here. This virus has changed our lives, circumstances and maybe even perceptions. The most important thing that has not changed, however, is my conviction and determination to keep trying to become who I’ve been fighting to be. The hardest battles are usually the most rewarding in the end because you learn your strength, or at least strengthen the source of real strength. We must not give up. The joy in having people in my life keep me going. Also, the INCREDIBLE people I’ve met during the pandemic. I think having these friends in my life now is such an honor and thanks to all these new connections I’ve been able to make with all these people who love Jehovah, it has all helped me hold on to that cheerful side of me.
So there you go. This is what my rambling has lead me to. It took a few unexpected turns but I believe it’s what needed to come out. I supposed in a way, this very post is also a rope that has been released. Hopefully, I have successfully demolished my writers block and set the way to start demolishing every other negative thought in my mind telling me I can’t…. I don’t know if I really can; all I know is that I will.
Thank you all for reading. Until next post!