2019 Vision

“I think I need glasses. Sometimes when I look at the chalkboard, it’s all blurry.”

A second-grade Tori declared this one day after school.

You see, for some reason I got the notion in my head that glasses were cool, and I desperately wanted a pair. Yet at age eight, I’d never once mentioned problems with eyesight, and I almost always got 100% on the vision tests they’d give us periodically at school.

But technically, if I squinted my eyes really tight, the chalkboard was blurry. (As was everything else, BECAUSE I WAS SQUINTING MY EYES ALMOST ALL THE WAY CLOSED.)

So…I wasn’t really lying to my mom when I said the board looked blurry?

Either way, it worked, and I promptly found myself at the eye doctor.

However, once the tests began, I either felt too guilty, or didn’t have the common sense to fail. Like, not even one little answer. Like, the doctor said to my mom, “Um, she has 20/20 vision.”

I did not get glasses.

*I do sometimes wear glasses now, when using a computer. Except the lenses have no prescription…they just block blue light. Because I’m such a freaking millennial, and I think my eight-year-old self finally deserves a win.*

Today marks a new year, a new decade, and the culmination of a lot of ‘2020 Vision’ puns. And hey, I’m not even mad about it. I love puns.

It seems with each passing year, the general masses are more and more excited to kiss the previous year goodbye, and jump into January 1 guns blazing. And I’m not mad about that, either. A fresh start is an amazing thing.

There was a lot of heaviness in 2019. For the world, for you, for me. Because this is life, and there will always be heaviness. And I, like you, am pumped to show 2020 who’s boss.

But there’s plenty from 2019 I’m bringing with me.

Facing the Feels: I finally started seeing a therapist in 2019. I will shout this from the mountaintops: Therapy has changed my life. (Now I just need to go find a mountain.)

From the outside looking in, it doesn’t necessarily seem like a lot has changed. But on the inside, my little friends Anxiety, Depression, and I are in a healthier place. I’m far less likely to try and dance around them, which is a good thing, because dancing around them inevitably leads to them becoming big, scary monsters that consume me, like when the Shadow Monster attacks will on the football field and totally takes over his life. (You should watch Stranger Things, if you don’t.)

Instead of dancing around them, I sit with my funny little acquaintances A + D and ask them what’s going on. Through journaling or meditating, I can usually get to the bottom of it, and am able to get out of my head. I’m able to stop the spinning, and find a little (sometimes a lot) of calm…of peace.

I’ve always been a very feelings-y person, but if you’ve noticed that I’ve been more apt to talk about emotions and vulnerabilities point blank and just get there with you lately, there’s a reason for it. And it’s not going away any time soon.

Life is too short for small talk.

Re-Framing Shame (or Shame Re-Frame? Because it rhymes): Somewhat related to Facing the Feels, I’ve learned how to be a bit kinder to myself.

I didn’t realize how much weight and guilt I carried around certain things in my life, the biggest being my relationship with money / my debt / my spending habits. But by acknowledging this weight was there…by shining a light on the shame…it becomes less ominous.

My therapist actually said once, something along the lines of, “Shame can only live in the dark. Once you bring it to the light, it dissipates.” And while it’s not easy to do, this couldn’t be truer.

I’ve also found that by being open about the shame with loved ones, the weight gets even lighter. I’ve asked one friend in particular to help keep me accountable with shopping. Not only have I shared this incredibly deep well of shame with her, which in and of itself gives the shame less power, but she’s been honored to help me and be part of this with me.

Which makes me feel so loved, my heart can barely handle it.

Groundedness: A couple of months ago, I felt an almost tangible shift within myself.

I even texted my…spiritual leader let’s call him, and said “I think I’ve tapped into some weird new energy this week (in a good way) and I need to talk it through with you. It’s going to be a very woo woo conversation.”

(Literally every single one of our conversations is woo woo.)

There’s a lot in limbo for me right now, and a lot of change is coming in the next 3-6-12 months. A lot of change will always be coming. And yet, as eager as I am to see what’s coming and where I’ll be, I’ve never felt so…grounded.

Trust me, I’m still a very anxious person. That doesn’t just disappear.

But it’s like, there’s this underlying inner sturdiness I’ve never felt before. This understanding that actually, I can manage life’s curve balls and uncertainties.

This may not sound like much to you, but to me, it’s everything.

I don’t know what the upcoming changes look like exactly, but I kind of know how they’ll feel. I know how I want and need to feel, and that’s what I’m going after.

I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds.

Same for you. I hope 2020 finds you feeling loved, doing what your heart wants, and wearing glasses if you damn well feel like it.