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An Ode (Obituary?) to A. YEAR.



2019. GURL. OMG.


And no, I didn‘t accidentally leave my caps lock on. Caps is usually my girl when typing, but right now I’m pretty sure she hates me considering how hard I jabbed at her to write that extremely brief prologue (and a lot that follows). Because all in all, I’d like to say 2019 was, for certain, not my year; BUT, although I realize my perception of it may be tainted, I also recognize I’m letting a number of unfortunate circumstances define 365 days, and that’s not fair. I shouldn’t be so selfish.

As you can (or can’t) tell, I haven’t written recently (unless ur obsessed w me—I mean I do make Granny chains—u prob didn‘t even know). Pretty sure that’s because I’ve been selfishly wallowing in my own griefs and misfortunes from the past year (I write this as I recover from a stomach virus that dominated my winter break). For any functioning human, we know this isn’t healthy—especially for me, considering the encouragement I teach to my students. Sitting here this very moment, thinking “WHAT A HYPOCRITE.”


Then, I realize I’m human. I’m not perfect. I’m not immune to struggles. I’m not an expert at handling them, and THAT’S OKAY. I’M OKAY. I’m not supposed to know how to handle everything. Is anyone really equipped for it all? Even when I don’t think I AM okay, that feeling doesn’t mean I’m not okay for someone else.

I was watching something a few weeks ago, a preacher who spoke about life and it’s purpose. At the moment we were listening, my husband and I had been dealing with quite a bit, but the speaker said (and I’m paraphrasing): sometimes the life your living, and the struggles your enduring have to happen in order for you to get to a place where you are destined to help someone else. KAY. Wake up call: Not everything is about YOU (me). Life is learned, and one thing that must be learned during the process is an unselfishness.


An unselfishness that allows you to say “KAY, THIS SUCKS, and yes it’s going to continue to suck for a while, but it will not defeat me because my life isn’t meant to serve only ME.” One that says “I cannot control this right now, but I CAN control that other thing that affects someone/thing other than ME.”


I will not pretend that I do that. I do not. I’m the worst at thinking: WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME, I AM SO UNLUCKY, THIS IS NOT FAIR TO ME, LIFE IS HARD. Because again, I’m not perfect, and I am allowed to think these things. BUT, I’ve learned over time that I have to correct those thoughts and recognize where I am mistaken. A fresh perspective is vital. Looking at the situation from another angle, another point of view, and then I’m like “woahhhhh girl, calm down, think this through: why is this happening and what good might come from it?”

Right now, I’m re-reading this and thinking: Plz stop, I’m not delusional, and I know I’m not going to start processing things this way over night. Although, I WILL try. And that’s what‘s important to me this coming year. In 2020, I’m not making a resolution to change anything absurd. I’m just promising I will continue to grow, to mature, and to handle my hardships differently. To focus on becoming less selfish. Baby steps. Thinking unselfishly, and acting less selfishly. Recognizing that this goal takes time, and maybe 365 days isn’t quite enough. BUT, THAT IS ALSO OKAY. I don’t need to track my growth with the sun. It can happen on its own time. 365 days, or maybe 450. Honestly, WHO CARES? I’m setting this goal for myself, not for a year. This is the important part about change.

I will undoubtedly have moments in 2020 that make me question circumstances, and struggles. Though, I will also, without a doubt, have EVEN more moments that bring me joy, make me thankful, and make me smile until my mouth muscles tingle. These moments, I am also sure, will be shared with my husband, my friends, family, my pup, students, strangers. Because it’s not all about ME. These moments are not only meant for ME, and this year is not made for just ME. Happy New Year because it’s a new one for us all. Make the 20’s roar (but, don’t let them end like Gatsby). xx,

GG Shaves


p.s. Oh, I WILL make more chains this year. I CAN promise that.







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