To my friends, it looks like 2017 sucked for me. Breakup of a 10-year marriage, right?! Leaving the Lost Coast. Grieving the death of my brother, Dana.
I mean, I lost my home and my marriage in 2017.
Added to that, my closest friends don’t live close to me, so I didn’t have much support that was near, and I certainly don’t have a lot of money to cushion it all with.
But 2017 didn’t really didn’t suck
First of all, 2016 was the worse year of my life because that was the year that Dana left – it wasn’t 2017.
Then, the implosion of my marriage was in most ways a blessing, it was more like childbirth than anything: something so hard and painful, but giving way to something fresh and new. I was in a bad place. I’m not anymore.
Not having a ton of support around me means that everything that my friends did for me became all the more precious and dear, like bright stars in a dark sky. LaNita helped me pack and move and deal with all The Hard Physical Stuff. Meredith was my steady online cheerleader. Katie, Nieves, Stefanie, Terre, Cindy and so many more gave me their ears and hearts. And my online community – WOW! I am so, so incredibly and mind-blowingly lucky and grateful.
Leaving the Lost Coast…. is hard. Was hard. And we left so suddenly, I still feel like so much had not been said, or people hugged goodbye, it was a bandaid ripped off too soon.
The only thing that does not suck about that is that in closing doors (however suddenly), new ones open, and we’re always moving forward in life, with the business of living and experiencing.
The word for 2017: Intolerant
I chose “intolerant” as my word to focus on for 2017. I didn’t want to get more of what I tolerated (but didn’t like, wasn’t comfortable with, etc).
I wanted to be stronger, more courageous, less willing to take shit.
Looking back over the year, I think it’s safe to say that I succeeded with my word beyond my wildest dreams. I’ve also enjoyed new successes and challenges, both writing and parenting-related. Some of the highlights:
- I won “Voice of the Year” at BlogHer ’17 and went to Florida to present
- On the blogging area, I finally figured out how everything should be laid out and set up 3 sites and integrated the frameworks, social media and more: it’s ready to roar in 2018
- My site traffic has doubled, Facebook groups and pages are all strong and cumulatively reach thousands of people which makes me smile (but freak out a little because that’s a LOT OF PEOPLE)
- I have a clear understanding of what I actually want to do now, and I think that’s actually the most important thing on this list.
Great Things from My Kids!
- Moxie had a dance recital (with her awesome teacher on the Lost Coast) which she totally rocked
- Micah absolutely flourished in the Blue Lake school
- Mack started TK (Transitional Kindergarten), going to school full-time and it was fantastic, he loved it
- Moxie had a verbal explosion and started talking up a storm
- The little ones are learning to bike ride – and read and write!
2017 on a personal level felt like more of a Year of Clarification than anything.
It forced me to focus and realize what my values and priorities are. It made me fight for my healthcare, for disability rights, it had me rise in solidarity with other women. It made me define for myself what a marriage and partnership should be, what I needed mental health to look like, what spaces and places were best for me and my kids to live and thrive in.
This is why 2017 did not suck. The course of 2017 had me so focused on clarifying my self and my life that I’m entering the new year with a sharpness and clarity that I haven’t felt in years. Because of this clarity, I feel strong. I feel empowered. I feel sharp and ready for action.
2017: you are over and out. Thank you.
Meriah Nichols is a career counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one gifted 2E). Deaf, with C-PTSD and TBI, she’s also a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.