Jan 10Liked by Deepa Paul

Thank you for your words. 2022 was a year of questions for me as well. Having such similar feelings like the ones you articulate, substituting my life specifics in place of yours. Feeling drained yet empowered as an activist against the ongoing assault on democracy and creep of fascism here in the US, yet still trying to remain grounded in the small things that matter - my art, my husband, my university aged children, my cats, my garden. Being supportive to them, yet also muddling my own way forward. Happy that my elder daughter's relationship is so strong with her Dutch boyfriend, yet knowing I will miss her dearly when she graduates and moves back to the NL to live. Fielding nightly calls from my younger neurodivergent child, LGBTQ+, extremely shy and introverted, so often unfortunately getting the short end of the stick in most of our moves (the one person that went to her school that lived on our block in Amsterdam? The boy that bullied them at school!) as they learn how to navigate in the US in a region hostile to who they are as a person, while trying not to feel depleted and overwhelmed myself. Losing two of my beloved cats in one month - one to a brain tumor, the other to sudden early kidney failure. And the ambivalent feelings regarding the death of my extremely difficult mother-in-law, as well as the complete estrangement from my toxic, racist, abusive father and his family.

Yet celebrating the peace of mind I have that we now own my longed for "Canadian lifeboat", a beautiful plot of rocks and trees in Canada right next door to my best friend's plot, who bought theirs the moment trump got elected in 2016, when land was still bananas cheap and affordable for an artist and a teacher.

And celebrating the renewed closeness I have with my sister as she got the courage to divorce her abusive husband of 22 years after their son was grown, and the increased closeness with my husband's siblings through their mother's death.

And celebrating the renewed explosion of productivity in my art, combined with the muddled confusion of how to move forward in how to share it with the world.

And the most liberating and uncomplicated celebration of 2022 - the speed at which I am progressing in my drum lessons, which I started last February, 2022. Showing me that even at 52, it is never too late to be a badass! : )

Happy 2023, Deepa. Thank you for being you, and sharing your light with us.

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I was just proud of myself for keeping up with my newsletter. I thought I would drop it midway, which I have done a few times before with former blogs. So, in a way 2022 answered the question of: can I keep a weekly newsletter? :)

It probably raised others as well...

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