If 2020 was the year of self discovery, 2021 has been the year of growth; of becoming and of growing into the person I want to be. Last year was all about peeling back and layers of confusion and shame and delusion. This year has been about growing into the certainties, the things I know to be true about myself, without shame or concern or guilt.

I have started being a writer: something I have always wanted be was once told that I was not good at so I tucked it away under layers of self doubt. I write because it brings me joy, not because I want people to read my writing. I write because it helps me process.

I have started creating: sculpting, drawing, weaving, baking without the need to be good at what I’m creating, without the need for it to have an audience (except maybe the baking!), without the need for it to be well received. This kind of creative freedom is what I needed when I was younger but never received because of our school to work to profitability capitalist culture.

I’ve started embracing myself as a non-binary person, without falling into the trap of the societal gaslighting that tells me I’m making a big deal about nothing. It’s not a big deal. It’s just who I am. Unapologetically.

I am anti-racist, anti-capitalist, and anti-civ. Now that I can name these things, I can embrace them and hold them and makes changes in my life to live towards the ideals they uphold. Again, unapologetically. Without thinking that I’m too much for people.

For the first time in years, I feel like I’m able to set priorities for myself that reflect what I want to be doing with my time and energy without sacrifice. I can set goals for my days that leave me feeling accomplished and fulfilled without quantifying those feeling within capitalism. After spending the first year of the pandemic tearing it all down, I finally feel like I’m taking steps forward. And it feels really good.