At the beginning of the year, I started a project: take a Post-It, write down one thing that happened during the week that was good, put it in a jar, and on the final day of the year take every Post-It back out to remind me of the good things that happened. It didn’t have to be something giant. A lot of weeks have small, good things. Those small, good things really add up to an amazing life. Just as much as the small, bad things can wear me down. I will admit that I didn’t remember to do it every single week. Sometimes I would write down extra things to make up for the weeks I didn’t do it.
Some weeks, some months it was harder to find something good. I am wildly human; blessedly imperfect with days that seem almost too hard to get through. Days that seem no light will ever get in, that there is no goodness in the world at all. I am always wrong. No day has ever been too hard for me to survive. The light has always found a way into the darkness. Goodness can always be found. Sometimes I just need to look a little harder. Search a little longer. Believe a little more.
The jar is pretty full today. I’m excited to look back on my year and remind myself of the good, small things. I think I will be surprised by some of the things I have forgotten about. Some of them were, after all, a year ago. I can recall a theme though. One that I am surprised and thrilled to say I have. People.
After spending my life at the edges of everyone else, I have finally found other people. Mental illness told me I was weak for needing people. Told me if I asked for help, I was a failure. Abusive relationships isolated me. Then left me with no one when they ended. I prided myself for needing no one. I also saw the flaw in being so independent that I didn’t know how to let people circle me. It felt suffocating. Like I was being trapped. I would panic, I still panic. I’m afraid that I cannot trust people or, that I shouldn’t need them, or would be better off alone.
Now, at 32, I have finally started to build my Forever Tribe. I have known a lot of these people for years. They have been around. I wasn’t there to meet them even half-way. I am here now though. Ready, willing, and so glad to know them. These people are my Post-It notes. My jar of small, good things built into very big, very good, very lucky me things.