Imagine a demon hag with sunken eyes, a deep black hooded cloak, and long boney fingers following me around, sounding alarm bells, and making me second-guess my every move. That’s how I pictured my anxiety and our lopsided relationship. Something needed to change.
This year I make my 30th trip around the sun. I’ve grown and changed in so many ways, taking shape as the person I need myself to be. I have to remind myself that, as scary as life can be, I am powerful and capable of tackling it all.
Love is abundant; there are infinite ways to demonstrate your feelings. Physical closeness is only one of the many ways to show our affection for each other. It’s not the only way.
“You give the best hugs” and 20+ different compliments to shower the lovely people in your life when reconnecting during the pandemic.
This blog has always been a safe space for me to reflect, create, and untangle some of the messiness in life, waiting for me when I felt compelled to do so. I truly did not anticipate you all being a part of this journey and touching me as deeply as you have. I started Muted Mouthful three years ago; that fact alone is incredible to me. I have grown so much; the evidence is all right here. This blog has become a living testament to me, something I can, and do, look back on, reflecting on the one inevitable thing in life, change.
As more people are receiving the vaccine, it seems like the light at the end of the tunnel may be widening. But to me, that light still feels pretty narrow.
The decision to participate in the vaccination process did not come lightly. Truthfully, I am currently balancing on a tight rope of gratitude, privilege, health anxiety, and fear. There’s still so much that is unknown about the vaccines and the virus itself. As an early recipient, I wanted to share my experience openly and honestly. The purpose of this is not to convince you to receive the vaccine or not. As someone that is just like you, fearful, skeptical, concerned, and a host of other feelings/emotions, I want you to have an account from a real person.
My “best” looks a lot different right now. It’s not an old friend I recognize in a crowd. It’s a new friend, one that I am weary of, one that I am questioning, one that feels conflicting. My new best arrived during an incredibly unprecedented tumultuous time, one that my system has never experienced before. A time that does not have a clear end in sight.
I may not have been able to travel this year, but I found myself exploring places in my mind that I had not ventured before.
As a therapeutic exercise, I wrote a letter to my younger self, offering career advice and kindness on the long, professional road ahead that would await them. It was a reminder to myself to be compassionate about my choices and to keep my mind open to the possibilities we have yet to encounter.