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  • Writer's pictureLaura Skinner

Healing & Happy

I’ve always been a goal setter. I genuinely love a solid list of New Years resolutions. Like write them in ink, check them off kinda intentions. But for some reason, coming out of 2020 and into this year, I didn’t set any goals. I usually have so many plans, but after last year (and I’m sure many of us feel similarly), I couldn’t bring myself to set any expectations for 2021. There’s no way I could have planned everything that happened this year, but no other way I’d rather it have gone.

I’ve been pretty open about my health on social media this year. If you would have told me a year ago that I’d have spine surgery and spend months in physical therapy, I don’t know that I’d have believed you. If you told me that in the same year I’d have a thyroid nodule diagnosed with a high risk of cancer and have to schedule surgery to remove it- well, I still don’t know if that has sunk in yet. I’ve had X-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds, a biopsy, all kinds of lab work, outpatient procedures, and have worked with a whole line up of doctors. A year ago, I was proud of myself if I just made it to the doctor for my yearly checkup. Now I’m lucky if I can make it a week without an appointment or at least a phone call from one of my doctors.

I still have a lot of physical healing to do, but I feel so good. I have a better understanding of how to take care of my body than I ever have before. I drink more water, exercise my body regularly, and soak in more sunshine. It’s an amazing feeling. And kind of a surrender to everyone who has ever emphasized how important these things were and I didn’t listen. I believe you now.

It has also been so freeing to share about my health this past year. I’m still blown away by all the connections I’ve made and people that have reached out to me because they’re going through the same surgery or procedure or heath issue. That has by far been my favorite thing about this year. I’m trying to imagine if I had kept these things private, how lonely it would be to not realize that there are so many people dealing with the same things. People on the other side of the globe and on the other side of the country. People in my town and even people in my family. It has proved to me how important and necessary it is to share your experiences and connections with other humans.

I’m a sentimental person. There’s no way I could write a year in review post and not get swept up in the beauty of how things change over time. I love seeing progress. I’m proud of myself for how I lived through 2021. I’m proud of the art I made, even if it wasn't as much as I thought I would. I’m proud of the times I said “no” to things I didn’t want to do. I’m proud of my work and proud of my growth.

I hope you are proud of yourself for making it to the end of this year. You are not the same person you were last year. You have changed and you have grown. You have experienced feelings, fears and moments that maybe only you know about, but I guarantee other humans understand. You are alive and phenomenal. I am proud of you.

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