It’s late October.
Halloween is just around the corner, and Thanksgiving will be here before you know it, and Christmas is basically in five minutes. Soon, the trees will no longer be golden and orange and red — they’ll be barren and bare.
Soon, December 31 will be here, and so will a new year.
I know 2020 has been hard — and hard is probably an understatement.
Perhaps you lost someone and you’re dreading the upcoming holiday seasons because there will be an empty chair at your table. And there are no pretty words that will make that all-encompassing feeling of loss and grief any better — you have to feel it.
Maybe you didn’t lose a person, but maybe you lost a thing: your career. Perhaps work as you knew it doesn’t look the same, or maybe it’s completely gone. And so now, you sit and you try to get comfortable in the stillness and you attempt to tune out the chatter so that you can listen to the universe or God or whomever you pray to for a sign as to what to do next. Because even though you don’t have the job you used to, you still need to eat. And so, you take what work comes, swallowing the sadness and frustration that comes with trying to build again.
Or maybe you’re not grieving the loss of someone or something, but a feeling that you’re missing.
Perhaps you were always the kind of person who could hold onto hope, the one who saw where the light pierced the darkness, the one who chose to see the goodness within each person that you would meet. And now you’re having trouble with that. Now you’re wondering how to keep holding onto your positivity; now you’re left feeling as if hope is something for the naive and the young.
Or maybe this year thus far has left you feeling a different kind of way.
Whatever it is that you’re feeling, I get it, I do. I have felt all of these things, too.
But as you flip the page to November and December and eventually the new year, I hope you cut yourself some slack and resist the urge to place importance on the days that have yet to come.
You’re living through a global pandemic and grappling with tremendous loss, so it’s easy to wish for tomorrow. And while it’s important to plan and manifest the future you want, it’s a dangerous thing to ignore the present.
I hope you let yourself embrace the new highs and lows that you will undoubtedly experience. I hope you let yourself embrace tiny moments of joy when they present themselves to you, too. I hope you know that you can acknowledge the pain of the past without wiping away the beauty of the present.
Give yourself grace as you navigate a new job and a new normal and a new way of thinking and being. Give yourself grace as you learn how to live without the things you once counted on and how to make sense of the new things you want and need to hold.
You can let yourself feel the loss of this year while also embracing the moments of joy that present themselves to you, so please do not wish your days away.
You deserve to live in the present.