January 2, 2020
I began 2020 fast asleep in my bed. I then did a 36-hour water fast. I am now ready to begin rebuilding, repopulating, recreating whatever and whoever I will be in 2020. As I look at myself in the mirror, I see a human being with little left, nothing to spare, few extras. But I am here.
My hair has grown long over the past four months, mostly left alone without being blown dry or pulled back tightly too often. My skin has lost any of the color it had after a summer in the Middle East, Papua New Guinea and Black Rock City. My nails are red, albeit chipped, because somehow that familiar sight brings a minor sense of joy. There is no muscle mass on a body that has been in constant recovery mode, plagued by pain and dizziness and unable to move much, if even leave a lying or sitting position for extended durations. The only jewelry are the pieces that never leave: the tiny belly ring I got in middle school (when my dad finally convinced my mom to give in to my Britney Spears-inspired preteen dreams), the simple square silver band I wear on my left middle finger (that a friend gifted me my freshman year of college), the second ear piercing I got on my first trip to Israel (with a custom piece I wear with pride), a new third hole that boasts a ring in honor of my dear friend who passed suddenly in September (which I got from the same shop where she had five made in honor of her children). I now see scars on my face, particularly deep, raw and striking ones across my forehead, brow and eye, others red and grey throughout my upper lip, atop a crooked mouth rounding out a misshapen, still-swollen face.
This is me as I enter 2020 — stripped down, noticing what remains and what is missing, trying hard to not allot value or negatively judge how I view what I see and feel, particularly that which is unfamiliar, undesired, even upsetting. There is surely more to recognize, layers of unknown power and newfound strength, but those are not always as apparent to my naked eye. I take nothing, no one and not a moment for granted — and that includes my own self, who I have been and am and will be in an ever-changing world. Onwards.