Jesus Christ what a shit show this year has been…seriously!!! I am working this holiday season which is both bittersweet. It’s still not safe to travel and see family so I figured I may as well work and keep myself busy. I don’t know if I am trying to suppress my feelings of loneliness without Ailish, or I am just trying my best to keep my head above water during this crazy ass year. I have spent a better part of this year alone, apart from my weekly (socially distant and safe) weekend visits with my friend Jono. Our dinners and outdoor/garage movie nights have kept me sane and been the highlight of every week. I am so lucky and grateful to have such an amazing friend for almost 30 years. Wow, we are old. I am grateful for his family who always spoil me with delicious food through this year as well, not just from their amazing restaurant (seriously, one of my favorite restaurants in Albuquerque), but sharing their family dinners at holidays when I have been alone or getting ready to head to work. It warms my heart and truly makes me feel like a part of their family, especially since I have been away from mine.
I am thankful for all my friends and family who are always looking out for me and doing what they can to be here for me, especially during the times when I struggle the most. I am eternally grateful for all of the kindness and love that I am given, I am very fortunate to have so many wonderful people in my life. Due to covid and my crazy work schedule I have not been able to see many people this year, but I know they are there for me, as I am for them.
This has been a year of lots of solitude and self-reflection. Be careful what you wish for, I wanted to live alone, find myself, see if I was strong enough to do it on my own…well I have certainly had more than my fair share of seclusion…probably the most I ever had in my life. I have always been around my family, always had my other half….now I am navigating solo, trying to make myself whole without her. The biggest change this year was my new career and I am so happy I was brave enough to take the plunge and do it. It was scary as hell and for the first time in years, I went to a new job feeling completely incompetent and over my head. Any time I ever went to a new chef/cooking job, I never felt intimidated or worried that I wouldn’t be able to hack it. It never took me long to go into auto pilot and kick ass in a chef job. This was a whole new ballgame for me, I felt like so dumb for the first 2 months, but according to my supervisors and co-workers, I caught on really quick and I am doing really well. I really enjoy my new job and learning as much as possible. I have also met some amazing new people at my job and they make the work day/nights even better. People ask me all the time, do I miss cooking, and yes I do. It will always be a passion for me, and while I don’t do much of it anymore (living alone, I eat more cereal and oatmeal than anything else), I do have my moments when I just need to get into my happy place and cook with my music blaring in the background.
Who knows what next year will bring, hopefully it will be significantly better than 2020. Things I have learned this past year, is that I am comfortable being alone, more comfortable in my own skin than I ever have been before. I am ready to open myself up to possibilities, new experiences, new people. I am mentally strong, more so than I ever thought possible. I miss my Aily every damn day, but I am keeping my promise to her by living my best life for the both of us. I still plan to try and finish her bucket list (when it’s safe to travel again), and do my best to be kind to others, pay it forward and do what I can to help my friends/family as much as I can, leave this place better than how I found it, make her proud.
My dearest Aily,
Wherever you are, Merry Christmas. I miss you so much and life is not the same without you. I hope I am making you proud.. My world is still so lonely and scary without you, and I miss your voice, your laughs, your yelling at other drivers on the road. I miss our crime tv binges, watching basketball games, and cooking you whatever you want to eat. I miss us leaving funny selfies on each other’s phones to make each other laugh. I miss everything about you. My heart is still broken, it will be for the rest of my life, you are my other half and I know one day we will be reunited again. It’s still hard for me to allow myself to be happy without feelings of guilt, cause I feel like my ability to be truly happy died with you. I am surviving better than I thought I would, better than I think a lot of people thought I would. I am working to find peace, healing, and happiness. I am settling into my life/home in ABQ, still feels so weird living in a house you have never known….but you are with me always. I still have my moments when I am consumed with sadness and cry my eyes out, especially around the hard anniversaries, our birthday, and holidays (even though you were such a Grinch at Christmas). Just know that I am okay, I will be okay… Until we are together again, you are on my mind every day and night. Me loves you, me loves you so much!! Twin promise (TP) forever