This year, I got a taste of a type of introspection even I am not used to.
This year, I have lived (and am still living through) a global pandemic. I must admit, the lockdowns and closures did not drastically change my way of life. A true introvert, guilty as charged. But, assimilating into keeping our distance from everyone, even loved ones, wearing masks in public-I adopted these practices without a second thought. When I started dreaming about forgetting my own mask when going out and being confronted at work with people without one was when I realized that this entire pandemic has scarred me deeper than I’d like to admit. I’m beyond grateful that everyone close to me is healthy, but the amount of microtraumas we are all experiencing, along with the mass amount of death, makes me weary for us. We have much undoing for ourselves in this decade. Yet, I am oddly hopeful.
This year, I questioned my place in the world. I questioned my purpose. I questioned my daily routines. I questioned what made me, me. I would look in the mirror, with the knowledge that I had lived a thousand lives before this one, yet feeling lost and confused in this one.
This year, I moved out of my mom’s house, after 22 years of living exclusively with her and my brothers. It was scary. I cried a lot and felt like I had made the biggest mistake of my life for the first month. Once the initial shock wore off, I gained a sense of independence I was unable to give to myself while living at home. It felt like honey, thick and sweet and satisfying.
This year, a dear friend I had known since we were both 6 years old, walked out on our friendship a week before my 23rd birthday. It hurt a lot, a hurt that is hard to express with words. It felt tight and foreign and like it would never go away. Friendships are such a beautiful aspect of life, and it hurts to lose them. Yet, losing her allowed me to open up in a way I couldn’t before. I felt like a baby bird, still wet with mucus and afraid to fly, but with a sense of newness and hope.
This year, I started a blog-the one you’re reading right now. A part of my inner child healed when I created it. A part of me, dying to be seen and heard, was fulfilled. Little Lashanda, who filled her every waking moment with a book and would stay up into the late hours of the night writing until her hands cramped, was listened to. The first day I launched my blog, I squealed and giggled like a child. I felt pure, unbridled joy. I really understood what it meant to honour your inner child that day.
This year, I deepened my spiritual practices. I learned to read tarot, which is not a journey with an ending, but a lifelong practice of trusting your intuition, something I struggled immensely with. I deepened my astrological studies, allowing me to look at myself and others through a profound, cosmic lens. It is nothing short of life-changing and affirming. It has made me more comfortable with the cycle of life and death, something that used to send me into spiraling panic attacks as a child. I understood why I have such a pull to these practices. They have become deeply personal and validating for me. I am truly a child of the universe, looking up at the sky in an innocent wonder.
This year, I uncovered painful parts of my past. I analyzed my behaviours and thoughts, something called “shadow work.” None of it is pretty. I spent many nights journaling and crying. But my brain doesn’t work any other way. I have always been applauded by others for my self-awareness, and while it can be excruciating to be so deeply in touch with yourself, it frees you in an unexplainable way.
Through the macro and micro traumas of this year, I was able to pull out the good things and the good feelings and the good people. I only hope that my vulnerability will add an air of community to the cosmic stirring pot that is the world. As much as this year has bruised and battered all of us, we deserve to reminisce in the few good things that this year gave us. Give that to yourself, and let’s hope 2021 is even a little bit better than this year.