My year-end reflection feels like a stark contrast to the typical narrative of transformation in 2020. My family & loved ones, from the octogenarians down to the front-line healthcare workers, have been safe from Covid thus far. A virus doesn’t care about the calendar, but this is a positive reflection that I feel fortunate for.
2020 started with me living in 2 different cities at a time, 6.5 hours apart by my mode of getting around, and I was haphazardly working at a job where no one’s really sure what I was up to even now. Suddenly going on sick leave in April marked the end of 3.5 years of me haphazardly doing my best, but falling short over and over as my mental health deteriorated. I let a lot of folks down after nearly two decades of making big things happen for employers & clients. Reconciling the shame I have from that is still a daily exercise and maybe always will be.
I spent a lot of 2019 in bed. I put on 50lbs after losing 30lbs in 2018. I saw very few people and panicked about seeing anyone outside my home. Following all the rules of the given day, I actually ended up having more time with friends and family in 2020 than I had in 2019.
I didn’t know what I was doing with my life at the start of 2020 (or 2019 or 2010 or 2000 or…). I’d taken stabs at it over the years, but always keeping mind that if I did what I wanted, I’d disappoint people who might otherwise like me or help me become the things I wanted to be. Coping by people pleasing isn’t uncommon, but resolving it without fierce and harmful independence is. Transformation can be hard to face and 2020 would be my year.
By the time 2019 ended, I’d disappointed so many people that I might as well get serious about finding out what I’m about because I’d just break again if I kept doing what I thought others expected.
So I got serious about gender fuckery and how I show up – I got in touch with my feminine and, thus, my masculine as well. I show up in lots of different ways now and it’s true to me in most moments. This is my most public post about queerness in my own life. Whew.
I re-engaged a life coach that I’d worked with in 2017 – I actually stopped working with her 3 years before because I realized that the path we were going down was going to cause me too much disruption & upset in my relationships. When she saw the kind of transformation I was now up for in 2020, she recommended I join the year-long program she took to become a coach in order to hone the natural skills and direction I had when I wasn’t killing myself with analytics. Taking this program has been the most immediately-transformative experience of my life – I’ve confronted all of my foundational assertions, decided on the life I want to lead and how I want to live it. I’ve been made conscious of the privilege I’ve had in taking this project and perspective on while embracing what’s next.
It’s not perfect: with confrontation comes breakdowns, but my time in breakdown is reduced versus previous years as I learn to take responsibility, rather than take on a universal blame. I then show up and show up from Essence:
2020 has been the best year of my life, which I say with great humility because I know it has been the opposite for so many around me and the world. It does give me the opportunity to support others, be present, and become the leader that’s been stifled by his own self for so many decades. And I’m showing up as that through Dave Coaches & just as I am plainly.