September 1 , 2020
It’s been just over a year since my big move back to Albuquerque. While 2020 has been a shit show for most of the world due to Covid, this has personally been both one of the most challenging yet fulfilling years of my life. Trying times either brings out the best or the worst in people and it’s up to us to figure out who we are when faced with extreme adversity. True colors come out and sometimes its not a pretty sight and other times, it can be quite a lovely surprise.
I know I will never get over the loss of Aily and there will always be really hard days, like anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays. I accept that and I don’t know if those days will ever be happy for me again, only time will tell. There are also some days out of the blue where her death consumes me and the loneliness fills my heart with sadness. But those are just days, here and there, usually when something big or new happens in my life. The day I got word of my new job, my new career path, I cried like a baby to my dad on the phone, because I felt like I was losing myself, losing the person Aily knew. The truth is, I was finding myself, the new me, the me without her. The thought of it scares me, I am not gonna lie, but for the first time in my life, I am making decisions for me and only me. I am for the first time being selfish, thinking about me and what I want, who I am, what I want in this world. I feel like I am where a 20 something year old is when they are venturing out in the adult world for the first time. I mean I have been a responsible adult most of my life, I pay my bills on time, every time, I have great credit, always give 150% to my job, and I think for the most part I have been a good daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, friend. At least I have always tried my best. Yes, I have slipped up here and there along the way, but who hasn’t? I always try to be the best person I can even though sometimes it hasn’t been enough. We are all human and despite the past mistakes, we can always do better, be better, and I think that’s what matters.
I know I want to make my Aily proud; I want to live life to the fullest for her and me, I promised her that I would do my best and I am. I love my new career choice, criminology/criminal justice has been a passion of mine for the past 20 years, and I am excited to see where it takes me. I genuinely enjoy my new job, it’s fascinating and I really like my co-workers as well, met some really amazing people I am happy to call friends. As my brother always tells me, through decades of reading and watching true crime, (despite him telling me I am sick, ha ha), this is my other calling, I have been training for this for years. Yes, I sleep like a baby after reading about criminal profiling and serial killers, yet horror movies make me sleep with every light on in the house for weeks. After years of going back and forth on going back to school for criminal justice, I am so glad I did, cause I loved it and I excelled. I know I will bring the same enthusiasm to this new career as I did to work my way up the ranks in the professional kitchen. My passion for cooking will never fade, and I will continue to cook for friends and family, and any private cooking jobs I can take on the side. My kitchen, my chef’s knife, my music blaring in the background will always be my happy place, full of memories of all the wonderful food I made for everyone, especially Aily and the times we worked together catering at the law firm in Seattle, together. Some of the best memories of my life. She always called me her personal chef, and I called her my sous chef.
Well this year is fucked, for many continued reasons, and I can only wish next year is better and I am hopeful for big changes, unity, resilience, and a cure/vaccine for this damn virus. This has also personally been a hard year, the house flood, personal/medical problems which I am still dealing with (nothing life threatening as far as I know, or hope anyway, so no need to worry), and loneliness. The social distancing required to be safe and keep others safe from Covid has made me spend more time alone than I have, well ever…I always had Aily or friends and family around whether I wanted to or not. Ha ha…but these past 6 months has forced me to be alone most of the time, and while it’s been lonely, it’s also pushed me to figure out me, who I am and what I want. And while I still struggle every day being a twin-less twin, missing Aily more than anything else in this world, I know I will be okay. Two years ago, when she first passed away; I honestly didn’t know if I would ever be OK, I didn’t know if I would ever allow myself to. I wasn’t sure if I could find my way without her, without us. I didn’t want to be here without her. I never thought I would be where I am today. My heart is still broken, the wounds are still fresh, I still have a deep sadness that makes me cry. I still have trouble allowing myself to be happy, not sure if I can ever be truly happy and guilt free again, but I am trying. I am finally taking care of me, eating well, working out, going to the doctor regularly (even though it’s kicking my ass in more ways than one), and taking lots of personal time for me and my mental health. These past 3 months have been emotionally difficult and I think they always will, but I know that on some level I will be OK, I will make it through.
I am a different, new Siobhan, not perfect in anyway, but I will always try to do my best. I actually do my hair and makeup and dress up from time to time (in my head I can hear my mom yelling, FINALLY!!! She swears I am single because I still dress like a rebellious teenager or homeless person, depending on if I am wearing jeans or my sweats, ha ha! I always tell her I am wearing my fancy jeans whenever I am with her.) I will always be a t shirt, jeans, sneakers, sports loving kinda girl, but I am becoming comfortable in my own skin to finally be somewhat grown up, branch out, try new things, even if it’s just something as simple being a little more feminine and most importantly more confident in myself and who I can be. So for the rest of this shit year and every year going forward, I will always try to be a better me, a better daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, friend, co-worker, contributing member of society. I know there will be times when I stumble or fuck up, or be deeply sad and depressed, but I will never stop trying. Maybe someday I will find or allow myself to be truly happy, who knows…but I am optimistic. I am hopeful that one day I will be reunited with Aily and we will spend eternity together, and that’s what keeps me going. I hope that this world will get better, it needs to. We can and we desperately need change, we need a lot more love, kindness, unity, and selflessness.
Our high school graduation when we had our whole lives ahead of us…