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Long time

For some reason, I didn't want to write about the pandemic. Or how life spiraled downwards in the first three quarters of 2020: I ended a bad romance; left a toxic boss who was blind to her mistreatment of people; faced a pandemic, during which a family member had a major health incident; ended another bad romance. I lived through those things, but I didn't want to immortalize them in writing. I actually didn't want to think of them more than I had to. 

Looking back now, having afforded myself the distance that time brings, I'm realizing that my not writing about the bad events in my life and trying not to think of them more than I had to also meant failing to reflect on the grace that was with me every step of the way. 

Bad romances teach love and forgiveness, and an appreciation for life's brief but lasting encounters. I am grateful for these people; they made me feel good things that have outlasted the bad. 

That toxic boss--my first ever, so I navigated poorly--opened me up to the love and support of all my workmates, who not only validated my experience but also saw me through it with their presence. 

It helped that we all had a shared experience; at some point, I actually thought it was just me and I started questioning my perception of things. Leaving my last job, I'd never felt so hated by one person but also so loved by everyone else. But, happily, only that love has stayed.

When my mother had her transient ischemic attack, I was alone with her, but my sister and my younger brother left work and came rushing. It was the height of the pandemic and we couldn't find a hospital who would accept us because all of my mother's vitals were stable. Pandemic-era triage couldn't see her congestive heart failure when her blood pressure and oxygen saturation were normal.

I was afraid, doubly so because of COVID-19, but I kept getting this message each time I prayed: "Be still and know that I am God." My mother is better now, and our family stronger. 

Not writing about the pandemic also meant I didn't write anything about the best thing that happened in 2021: I got a puppy. 

So this is where it's at. Looking at the end of this year, the second of the pandemic, everything is uncertain, but I have the love of a dog. Be still, she teaches me, be playful and hyper and occasionally aggressive, but be still in the moment and appreciate it for what it is. 

Tala and me

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