I had all these thoughts and ideas for what I would say to you as we go into a new year. Words of hope and inspiration and encouragement. Now that I sit down to finally write I’m stuck. Stuck in over thinking vulnerability, honesty, and what’s worth sharing.

I suppose what I could say is that my reflection of 2018 can be summed up by milestones. I reached several mountain tops last year, figuratively and literally.

  • I graduated with my Bachelor of Social Work
  • I made it to four years sober
  • I turned 25 years old
  • I started a full time social work job
  • I completed hiking the West Coast Trail
  • I came out as transgender & began transitioning

And there was a whole lot of amazing in between.

I also saw a lot of loss and grief. I struggled with my mental health more often than not. This world lost my dear friend Sam. We also lost Sally, Katie, Kaytie, and Jesara. I still felt the loss of Kevin, 3 years later. And we lost many more who I’m sure your heart remembers. My mental health sent me back to the hospital and I spent most of 2018 battling suicidal ideation. Even at those glorious mountain tops my brain tried to kill me. But its 2019 and I’m still here. I’m still here, alive, breathing, screaming tomorrow is gonna be different.

Tomorrow turned out to be different.

I don’t know what 2019 will bring; what losses will come my way. I don’t know the struggles in store for you or for me. I know there will be adversity because every year has some. 2019 will also be another year of growth, recovery, and climbing to more mountain tops. It will be a year of changes, transitions, and days I have yet to discover.

I’m learning to live life in moments.

Those close to me know I’m a pro at creating plans and goals, dreaming big and finding opportunities. I have hopes for my future; I have things I’m working towards and planning for. But in the same breath of planning and manifesting for future days I’m learning the magic is in the moments.

That moment I rested in sea caves on the tip of Western Canada with tired feet and a tired body, I was in awe of the beauty the ocean had created. Beauty created just by patience and persistence of the waves.

That moment I heard my name called out to a room full of people to announce that I was a degree holder and I punched the air and screamed success to all those loved ones cheering me on. Cheering me on in that moment but also all those moments of years of hard work. That moment was a celebration of all you amazing souls who carried me and walked with me to that finish line.

There was that moment too when my dear friend called me and told you were no longer here Sam. And we both hoped we had the wrong Sam. But we didn’t. And I sat at my desk and kept trying to work because I didn’t know what to do. So I ate too much ice cream that month, and kept brushing my teeth. I smoked too many cigarettes and struggled to cry because testosterone injections seem to make your tears stuck. But I honored you. And I will continue to honor your guidance in my journey to becoming my true self.

I could continue to reflect on the moments that made up 2018. There were many, many greats, many moments of magnificence. & there were moments of sorrow, of sadness, moments when I fought with myself to stay alive.

I’m learning to live life in moments. Because magic happens in moments. Life is made up of a series of moments, some painful, some glorious, some so simple I seem to forget them. My dear friend I hope you learn to live 2019 in moments. I hope you find healing moments; I hope you find songs that keep you alive and views that take your breath away. My wish for you involves growth and peace. Whatever this year brings for you I hope you remember tomorrow will be different. It always is.

Be gentle with yourself my friend.

© Ange Neil 2019

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