Dear 2022 aka Two Two
Dear Two Two,
I begin with an apology. I am sorry for wishing you were Two Thousand and Nineteen. Not only for saying it but for how often I repeatedly did. Wisdom teaches that “true love” partners with “full acceptance” of the other; thus, I betrayed my love by wishing you were not you. It’s wrong. I do see you. I do accept you, my beloved Two Two.
I am, however, stricken with ambivalence on which thoughts I should allow out of the bag and down onto the page. There are at least two of me grappling for position to author this letter, so if it comes off a tad schizophrenic, you know why. It’s only because we want to be honest with you about my time spent with you;)
Seriously though, I have thoroughly enjoyed your sense of humor, even with its dark undertones, darker overtones, and all other kinds of tones. It has been a welcomed refreshment from the last few 365s, and you know that’s no lie.
You have brought so much change to the world at large and into my little life. Sure, some of that change may be many calamities, confusion, fear, suffering, war, inflation, the rumors of war, sleepless nights, bigotry, false flags, fracturing societies, ignored cobalt crimes, virtue signals signaling virtue’s death, the invention of nuance in ways, the banning of it in others, hate up for sale, questioned votes, tiny blue bird storms, police report being filed by me on Christmas Eve, cultshit galore, podcast hordes, zombie mobs, red and blue snobs, to list a few.
But, Two Two, we both know “change“ remains the only constant presence in both the peaks and the valleys of life. You can’t and shouldn’t be blamed for everything that happens, and I only blame myself for some parts while I dump other things back on the past.
I promised not to talk about them, but Twenty Twenty and Twenty Twenty-One were not so different from you. At least not from my point of view of you. Minus masks and “Do you have your paperzzz?” being asked, it’s almost as if you still keep in touch with them. I mean, do you? I still wake up at 4 AM almost as often as I did with them. I am panicked, not knowing if I’ll be able to maintain and sustain my home with my son, J., and my daughter, S. The two kids that sure up my chest. What’s that all about? I know I can’t put that on you. You being a different year is an empirical fact but damn, history is’a rhyming hack.
Even as I attempt to write this, desired avoidance evades me!
The truth is, I may hold onto the two that preceded you to duck the responsibility for my current failings. I indeed took some heavy blows over the past few years, and I might’ve been stunted, but f***, many others have climbed out of Hell and well past my lame bird excuses! This letter is starting to hurt and sting like an honest self-assessment sounding truth’s clear ring.
F*** it. I have to keep going though I’ll switch in a different direction.
We may be on the verge of civil war, maybe even worse, but I found love Two Two “TAHHRUE LOVE TWO TWO.” Yes, it sparked the year prior, yet it was in you that my heart bonds were exposed and rewired. I had profound doubts I’d love again after my divorce, and I felt it was all my fault somehow, so I didn’t feel worthy, of course.
I never thought it possible to be in such a healthy, honest, free, sexy, deep, and FUN relationship! It’s as if I knew her from childhood. Want to hear something crazy? When it’s us four, my son, my daughter, Marina, and I, it feels more like a family than it ever did from Two Thousand Twelve to Two Thousand and Eighteen. Those years had many highlights, to be sure, but I can honestly say this new relationship has topped them all. Obviously, not the highlights of our children being born. I merely refer to bits that their mommy adorned. Now I won’t bad mouth her in any way because she is an incredible thing in many ways. All I can say is the partnership mentioned up at the start was not present in that “decade of love.”
Now that I put it on the page, what’s profound about this new love is how radically accepting it is. I love this woman for precisely who she is, and the same is returned. This is not to say that there are no rules, boundaries, or standards, but the way all of those are handled is with, let’s call it, love. Now I feel even more like the asshole for not letting you be you. Gosh, I’m so sorry, Two Two!
Also, the children still do feel the rub of it all. They are missing their mother and me being together. That sad “bit” has not escaped my skull.
Oh shit! You are the first year in my life where I didn’t have any version of a roommate! Just the kids and me! How did I not realize this until now!? Thank you, Two Thousand and Twenty-Two! Wow!
Oh, I came to Brazil and spent the last two weeks of you with Marina and her kin! A trip that was meant to be fully in. I got to walk her childhood streets. I got to sit where she sat, run where she ran, and wake up where she was raised. I got to hug and hold grandparents. I got to cry with her Pai about life and regrets. I learned about her Mae’s past and journey as a mother, stories that pained my lack of their native tongue. Her younger brother and I clicked with many jokes cracked! I met her best friends and crew. My heart, like the Grinch’s, grew and grew and grew.
Growth in the acceptance of myself plays a significant role in all of it. It isn’t always easy, nor is it always true, but it is undoubtedly the most free-to-be me, and that happened during you.
I have been a full-time artist the whole year in a row though my funds be below low. It’s nice to say it. “I have been a full-time artist a full year in a row.” It’s been scary attempting to feed my children and myself with my creative pursuits. It’s hard to say I haven’t been successful because no one is homeless, and no one’s gotten the boot. I still see a mountain in front of me to climb. Still, a whole year in a row, and I hope to keep it moving. Shh, I started writing a novel, and the imposter is trying to take its life.
My Son turned 10! Wow! That is huge! You were the year he revealed his developing, healthy boundaries, which he communicates effectually about! Thank you for this! My daughter grew into a reader! That door unlocking for her will make the world a better place. This year I saw a more steady and confident little dragon in her.
The sparring session has ended, and I will wrap this up and let the rest stew.
I still feel unmade, unsettled, and unformed as I enter this current year. I haven’t even been able to start the conversation between Twenty-Three and me cause I’m too scared. I will. Not yet, but soon. Excitement is there, too, but there are summits to reach, so I must remember my lessons from you.
It is so crazy from reading your letter to two two how I noticed so much has changed. So many things happen and covid has been out for so long. Its been 4 years? I can’t believe it. We keep getting older times to keep changing and so much is still happening. Your letter is a reminder of my wanting to go back in time.