No Room For Negativity: The Positives of 2017
Wow, is it really 2018? Did we all survive? How are you doing? Come and sit down, and let’s chat.
I don’t think I’m wrong in admitting 2017 was difficult. From the constant influx of news concerning our 45th “President”, to tax bills, stripping away healthcare, all the awful sexual harassment and abuse allegations, the painful #METOO movement, and the overall vitriol this country was exposed to day in and day out. Not to mention anything going on in our personal lives. I know I was very affected by the day-to-day grind and my mental health suffered a great deal because of it. So, for me, 2017 can be summed up as a tumultuous year, or as I like to label it: a dumpster fire.
But, my first piece for 2018 will not be a negative one because that’s not entirely my nature to do things like that. There were some amazing things that happened in 2017, and I can recognize good when I see it, and those moments need to be highlighted.
So, with that, I bring you my favorite moments in 2017!
- Coming strong out of the 2017 gate was the Women’s March. There will be a longer discussion about the march itself, but the feeling I had when I was out there among the thousands of people on a very cold and rainy January was one that I still haven’t been able to put into words. It was, for me, a moment of feeling seen and heard. There are many issues with the march itself, but in those moments of walking the crowded streets here in Portland, it felt special and sacred. I felt as though we all came together in a moment when we so desperately needed each other, and a fire was lit underneath our feet for the upcoming year. That Saturday was a truly special day for me, and one that I will not soon forget.
- In February, my dear friend, and our dear community member, Andrea, told me and our friend, Morgan, she was pregnant. She told us by asking me if I would be her doula. I used to joke with her if she ever had a baby, I wanted to be her birth doula because I’d been interested in becoming certified. Well, her request ignited my fire and I found a training course, signed up, and began studying. The course that I took was an intensive two-day training and some of the top days of the year for me. I learned so much, and became so excited at the thought of helping someone I love bring forth new life into this world.
- With that being said, one of the very best days of 2017, and my life really, was the day Andrea had her baby. Well, it was more like days, as she was in labor for about 28 hours, and I was there at the hospital for about 25 of those hours. For me, as a doula in training, I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to comfort her and I wouldn’t know what to do or say, but something in me simply sprung into action. I am a caretaker in many ways, and being in the birthing suite really clicked all of the boxes for me in terms of what I would want to be doing as a job. Not everything came second nature to me, but there were doulas on staff who were there helping both Andrea and myself to make this experience a good one. The level of care these women showed my friend was awe-inspiring, and also a really helpful tool that I hope to be able to take to my next birth and throughout my (hopeful) career. Let me tell you, seeing your friend in that much pain is not fun. Delivery of a child is not for the faint of heart or those without patience. But, that ending was spectacular. Seeing someone you love pushing out a human life is something I will never be able to put into words, and I can only say I was, and still am, incredibly humbled to have been asked to be a part of something so intimate and special. Also, Andrea’s baby is a real stunner, and I love that I’ve been there since the very beginning.
- Being that we all are living in “Trump’s America” (yikes) I have noticed I stopped overthinking things and started doing them. Case in point, my friend Morgan asked if I would contemplate going on a trip to the UK with her for a jaunt around Wales and then to London, and without a second thought I text her back “YES!!!”. I’ve never been overseas before. I’ve never left the United States, except to have lunch in Canada a few times, and I have always thought I didn’t deserve a trip such as this. But, I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen from one day to the next, so saying yes to something, even if it sounded extravagant, made sense. We immediately got to work planning, and we are set to go in May of 2018. Tickets were purchased in August, all accommodations were set in September and October and now, we wait. I’ve, honestly, never been so excited for anything else in my life. My life has become nothing but British television shows and drinking tea. So, basically, I’m totally ready for my trip, right?
- But, most of all, the best thing that happened in 2017 was Cushy. I can’t have a list of good things about last year and not include the thing that really gave me purpose, motivated me, inspired me and gave me a whole group of wonderful new friends. When Erin asked if I would be a contributor, I thought that was pretty great! I’ve always wanted to write for a blog, and had my own a long time ago, but this felt different. When she then asked if I wanted to be a part of the Foundiphery and to help shape Cushy and be a part of something amazing, well, I was over the moon. I’ve always wanted to do this, and now I get to be Editor-In-Chief of Cushy Web? And, I get to do this with some of the most important people in my life? That’s pure icing on an already delicious cake! Erin, Nat and I go way back to being friends in New Mexico, and then to be able to carry that through to another adventure like this feels so very special to me, and so right. I have met some wonderful women through our new community and have learned a lot about what it takes to keep things moving along. The internet is no joke, and keeping up with the day-to-day needs of maintaining a website has been challenging for all of us and a true learning experience. Through Cushy, I found a platform for my voice, and to say all of the things I have always wanted to say. I’ve opened up about my sexual abuse, my anxiety, pelvic therapy and my depression. In laying it all out on the table, I’m hopeful that I have, in all cases, reached at least one person to let them know they aren’t alone. I’m 38 years old and I still struggle. Daily. But, you can come here to Cushy and you can see that we all care about each other, and we want everyone to succeed. It’s been a powerful and healing part of 2017 and will continue to be even more powerful for 2018 and beyond.
There were a whole host of other fantastic moments in my 2017: I met my oldest friend's baby for the first time, where I then kissed her continuously for three days, and stole many, many kisses on her hands and feet. I spent some much needed time with an old friend, and got to hang out with her kids and got to know them to be wonderful and fantastic individuals, and I got to spend time with someone I love very, very much. I saw a lovely friend get married and spent the whole day with her and old friends who made me laugh so much that I cried, and there was whiskey and singing all day long. I made a wonderful trip to Canada with my dad, and another trip up to Hood River. I took a hip-hop dance class and a rock climbing class, and took up boxing again! I ended the year at the beach with two of my closest ladies and said goodbye to 2017 as I watched the waves take all of my bad thoughts and roll in with fresh possibilities. I had a ton of laughs, tears, hugs and throughout the difficult year, I managed to allow some light in as well.
Let us know what your 2017 was like, and what the positive parts were! We can always talk about the negative, and don't worry, we will! But, there's always room for a little positivity, right?!