We are battle-worn. Our bodies and souls are softer. We're tired and pregnant and self-aware yet unsure. We changed careers, homes, geographies. We got bangs! Life used to be a lazy river but now we are paddling, pushing. We say no. We are entering our power-crone phase of life. We are in an exhilarating new relationship. We lost our nipples to a bilateral mastectomy. We have lost allll of the fucks we once had to give. We've lost a lot of things we thought were core to our identities, and yet here we are… still us. Just more tender, more open, more ready.
We made it through with the help of the public library, bubbly water, therapy, our favorite spill-proof mug, long walks to get frozen yogurt, Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip
, a sewing machine we found on a curb, a hammock, generic Froot Loops, and this one sherpa pillow we bought on a whim from Target. We figured out that it's impossible to be too angry with the world if you eat Yasmin Khan's Iranian omelette with medjool dates and cinnamon
for breakfast. We reveled in car-dancing, mushroom-hunting, sexting, shadow-boxing, apple-eating, smushing our hands into wet clay, watching the giant hosta in our front yard grow and bloom. We credit the friends who never expect us to be in a good mood. We credit a magic hour we spent on a hilltop alone after a hike.
We were grateful, more grateful than we ever thought possible, for weddings and divorces and fresh jobs and brand-new humans to love. For family both logical and biological. For our abuelo singing to us over FaceTime. For our dogs and cats. For health. For nature. For vaccines. For hugs! Oh my god, the hugging
we did this year!
We identified with the Ever Given, stuck in that damn canal. We stopped believing in imposter syndrome
. We thought about having kids
. We swooped overhead with Aerial America
and escaped with Bee and PuppyCat
and deeply appreciated this Bad Bunny/Rosalía performance
We laughed with Pinky Patel
and a toddler explaining a fight at daycare
. We listened to a lot of Maintenance Phase
and Las Culturistas
the Unofficial Bridgerton Musical Album
and this one obscure ambient song
. We [well, not quite sure what verb to put here] Adam Driver. Jennifer Packer's work
changed us, and so did Suleika Jaouad's Isolation Journals
. We reveled in bi wife energy
. We cherished the sweet memory of Four Seasons Total Landscaping.
So often, we were sadly unsurprised. At our boss's ability to gatekeep, gaslight, and girlboss without acknowledging any of it. At just how greedy people can be. At just how ineffective politicians can be. At the lack of empathy all around us.
And yet some things pleasantly surprised us. Little things. A crush on a colleague. Our niece's expansive vocabulary. The joy of learning to swim, the return of our sex drive, the improbable thriving of our fiddle-leaf fig. The fact that we found a chronic-illness community online, that we actually missed
being in lockdown with our kids, that we made new (great!) friends. Still got it.
There were bigger shocks. The overwhelming waves of grief at the loss of our brother, our sister, our father. How one day we were eating comfortably in a restaurant and the next day we were canceling everything. How what started as a weird, distanced date in the middle of an ice storm turned out to be love. How "normal" it felt to live in the midst of multiple coinciding global crises. How deep our faith in ourselves actually runs. How strong we actually are.