I have been silent lately.
My words have left me.
Usually, this time of year sparks hope and excitement and eager anticipation for all the beginnings a new year brings.
Not this time. At least, not now.
2017 was a difficult year. At the end of 2016, I learned that a close relative had dementia. It was a confirmation of our fear. 2017 was a year of grieving. First, there was the loss of the future we had envisioned. Then mental function slipped away. A few months later, physical function began to deteriorate. In October, there was death.
I stumbled through the holidays. This year was more about going through the motions than experiencing the joy. I held tight to the decorations,the music, the spirit of Christmas hoping that it would ignite something inside me. It didn’t. Instead, I was haunted by the memories. The ghosts of days past can be difficult companions when loss is so recent.
Stories and poems still swirl within me but I have not felt like writing. My experiences over the last 18 months call out to be crafted into a written account. There is enough there for essays, short stories, a novel. I am not ready to put any of it down on paper yet. Maybe in time. Maybe when my ghosts bring more smiles than tears during their visits.
In the meantime, I am taking a small break.
2017 was an end. I needed a hard stop — a clean break — from some of the things that have kept me stuck.
2018 is a year of redefining. Of discovering who I want to be. Of reclaiming my words.