This morning I woke up in my old apartment, located in downtown Cambridge, MA. The apartment is quiet and empty. Looking around my room, it is as if the pandemic never really happened. There are sticky notes with my to-do list on my mirror. Meetings that never happened, work that was canceled, and a grocery list long overdue. My stand table has an unfinished novel that I had started, a glass of aged water, and tickets to the Peabody museum for March 19th.
For those of us who have not acknowledged the date for the past couple weeks, it is time we look alive. Classes may be done, deadlines over, but New Year’s is fast approaching. For some, 2019 has been a whirlwind of ups and downs. There were moments where we never thought we would make it to see 2020. There are also moments where we wish the year would never end. A few of us are leaving some extremely important people behind in 2019, and some of us are looking forward to welcoming new blessings in 2020. Whether we think the year was a bust or not, one thing is for certain, 2020 is just days away. With a new year, comes new goals and commitments. Last year, I made a promise to myself to make it a “selfish” 2019. I can proudly say I did just that.
It is seven o’clock in the morning. The wind is chilled against my cheeks and the draft is finding its way nicely up my winter coat. I am standing outside a polling location with five of my friends, with a clipboard of ballots in hand, looking to make a difference.
Forgive. Forgive like the murderer who has ripped apart a family with the pull of the small, but mighty, trigger in his unjust hands. Kidnapping a prize that he will never keep, and I cease to enjoy. Forgive like the way we convince ourselves that kale is like cake, when cake is not like kale. The lies we thread between our teeth to cleanse ourselves of the guilt we perceive. Forgive. Like an ex love who cannot release stress without the caress and imitated love felt by a stranger. Like a band aid that will not stick, the sorry’s and I love you’s just keep coming.