The family ornament we chose to sum up 2019
Well. THAT was a year.
I’m ready to be boring for awhile, please and thanks. Because 2019 was a lot of things – oh god, so many things; all the things – but a snoozefest it was not. I published a book that resulted in the most emotionally intimate and exhausting book tour of my life. I wrote two more that’ll be out next year (you can preorder one of them now), and put my seventh (!!!) into contract. I started a new marketing side-hustle, and actually work out of an office (IMAGINE) a couple of days a week now. I moved. Again.
But if I had to sum up what this year was about for me, it was about making room to breathe. Putting space in between the situation, and my response.
In other words: Growing.
Here, in ascending order, are the 6 most-read posts of the year. They are exactly the ones you’d imagine.
Number Six: So I Can Sleep
I know that all this loneliness is especially acute right now because it’s the holiday season, and because I’ve spent the bulk of this, my first Christmas post-divorce, either sitting on my couch with a pair of cats, or hanging out with a person whose very presence stands as a constant reminder of all the things I used to have, and don’t anymore.
Maybe I never had them, and I was just pretending all along – and doing such a good job of it that I fooled even myself. That’s worse.
The sixth most-read of 2019 was written practically at the moment it started. On January 2, I found myself wanting to sleep – just sleep. Nothing else.
Number 5. I Need To Smudge My Life
Just over two weeks from now, I am (theoretically) leaving the country with my kids for Spring Break. And as hard as it is to get passports for your children when you have already gotten it together to compile all of the required documentation, it is oh, so much harder when you no longer have any of that documentation, because it has been stolen out of your car.
Remember when I life-failed on a truly, truly spectacular level? That was fun. (On a more serious note, the chaos of that particular moment in time also gave me some insight into the havoc internal chaos can wreak on the external.)
Number 4: For Better Or Worse
When all this started, I think the idea of “something different” was exciting – more exciting than it should have been, but I suppose I was indulging my naiveté to make myself feel less frightened. Things weren’t good, I thought to myself. I may not know what’s coming, but I do know it won’t be what was.
And now I’m here, in the “what was coming,” and it’s awful. Not everything, of course, and not always, but the constancy with which I’m reminded of what I once had and no longer do makes me feel like I’m standing in the middle of a paintball field. The hits just keep on coming.
This was a rough spell; I can’t remember the exact circumstances, but I was traveling a ton while shooting a series in New Jersey, and K and I were not getting along well, and it all came together to break me. Which I think is precisely what set me up for what happened next, which was this:
Number 3: The Performer
It is so embarrassing to read this post now. But, as my tattoo says: No going back.
Number 2: This Is How It Always Is
Eventually, of course, you cannot do this anymore: This dance where you do too much and pretend that you do not, because if your partner really knew the true volume of what you carry in your mind every moment of every day, they might get defensive, and you don’t want a fight; a fight is just one more thing you’ll have to do.
This one’s about my divorce, and why I broke. And why you may be breaking, too.
Number 1: The Shame
It’s interesting to me that the most-read post of this year coincided with a personal all-time low – a breakup so painful and exhausting that I didn’t think I could bear to share it. But then I did, and what happened was that – with your help – I saw it for what it was: as one reader commented, “a cosmic kick in the ass.” And the healing happened faster than I ever imagined, because what I did was this: I gave myself permission to fall to pieces for two weeks, and then I picked myself back up, and got to work on figuring out why that happened, and what it meant. Which turned into some much-needed self-reflection not just about why I let that man into my life, but also about the divorce. My parents. My own parenting. Everything.
Which is all to say: That was a pretty horrible experience. And I’m so, so grateful for it. And for everything that the past year has brought – both the beautiful parts and the crushing ones, because it’s all part of the journey. I’m grateful for all of you, for sticking with me all these years.
Happy holidays. Here’s to many, many more adventures to come.