The Last Shared Journal Entry of 2021

An excerpt from my morning journal…

December 27th, 2021

Monday 6:33 am

…can you believe he would even say that? 

Well, I guess if I had to recap the year, I would have to say, on balance, there was more good than bad. I mean, when I look at all that I’ve accomplished, all that has happened – sure, I could focus on the bad stuff, but the good stuff was super good!  It’s kinda hard not to embrace it! 

The big one, of course, was finally dealing with my old dance injury – finally having surgery. More important than the physical healing, was realizing the mental and emotional part that needed some healing too. I mean, if all that had happened this year was this surgery and all that it entailed, it would have been an incredible year with just THAT ONE ACCOMPLISHMENT!   

But no, there’s more…

I moved a couple of blocks from the beach I have loved this area so much since landing in Los Angeles years ago. I visit the beach daily, even while recovering from surgery… it’s been such a luxury. The fact that I saved $300 a month in rent was just icing!  Honestly, I tear every day I walk out my door and towards the beach. It’s just so beautiful – even on a rainy grey day like today.

I live-streamed for the first time ever on an app called Happs. I’ve also learned more about Twitch and I’ve become a lot more comfortable on Tiktok. Live streaming was so much fun and the possibilities were/are incredible. I started a show that interviewed various content creators on the app and it was a fun possibility for me – but the app made a dramatic change (upgrade?) and I’ve put the interviews on hold at least broadcasting on Happs, for now. But learning how good I am at interviewing people was a FANTASTIC revelation!  A skill I knew I had, but one I had never truly tested. I’m excited to find a place to do that again soon. Stay tuned.  

Another positive moment in 2021 – I got a new position working as a Content Manager and Podcast Creator. It’s only part-time, it doesn’t pay that much, but moving fully into a new career and getting away from financial stuffage has been a focus of mine for a long time and this was a good milestone in that direction.  Another win!

I also started a new podcast and season 3 begins in January!  (WOW. Just writing that felt kinda cool)

My second book is in the works, and although I hope to finish soon, the truth is, I’m learning it’s going to take as long as it takes.  If money was no object, I’d be done already. But you know, money is an issue, so the creative juices work when they can!  But the process is quite something!  I’m loving every minute of it. For those who don’t know, my first book is CANELA.

Have there been some bad moments? Sure.

I had to visit the emergency room a few days after surgery because I was experiencing severe sharp pains in my head. It was scary AF. But I’m fine and it was ultimately nothing, but a fierce scare for sure.  But what I took from that was an incredible appreciation for how the body tells us something is wrong – and, how amazingly underappreciated late-night staff are IN the emergency room!!! 

There’s also the never-having-enough-money issue. There’s no doubt it’s been a tough time for most everyone because of Covid and… well, I’m no different.  Losing clients, trying to patch-work together monies for the things you need – meh. I decided this year, to just do the best I can and not get so upset about it all. I mean, I’ve been here so many times! The weird part is if you let it derail you, you end up down a negative spiral for sure. So, I just worry about today. What can I do at this moment to buy what I need, pay what I need? I’m not gonna lie, it sucks, but you know what? I stay in that place of finding some light anywhere I can find it. Right now, I still have options. It may not be the options I want or hoped for, but I’m still okay today. That alone keeps me positive, even if I am a bit disappointed in a system that really could do a better job of helping lift people up in a concrete way, you know, during a pandemic. But just in general. When that money does start rolling in, I will use it wisely and try my best to help some folk like me and others having a tough time… I promise that. I find joy in that. I really do! 

Another downer, I’ve also met some nasty and very negative people online this year – especially live streaming. I chose to livestream and whenever you try something new, it’s good to be prepared for all the possibilities, including the bad stuff. What I’ve come to learn through this experience is that behind a keyboard people find it easy to be their worst selves. Negativity is ramped online because it’s easier to be ugly behind a keyboard. And I disagree with most people who call being online Not Real Life. You know what? Your online persona IS part of who you are. There is NO aspect of you “playing a character” to hide behind. Sorry. If I may steal a partial line from one of our First Ladies, Mrs. Michelle Obama, “…[it] doesn’t change who you are, it reveals who you are…”. And there are some real ugly folk out there is all I’m saying. Be aware of them, online and off.

But the counterbalance with nasty folk online is all the wonderful new personalities and friendships I’ve made as well. And I think that’s the point – if there’s anything I’ve learned this past year in 2021, is that for all the bad stuff that happens to me personally, or to the world, I have always, without a doubt, tried my best to find the light. 

I talked to someone this past year about my book – and they asked me how I still stay so positive even after everything I’d been through. I laughed because I would have never thought about it that way…

The truth is I have never had the expectation that my life would be a continuous journey of happiness or even contentment. I expect, if I’m going to have any kind of real joy, I will also know real sadness.  There will be ups and downs, hills and valleys, there will be moments where I fall so deeply and are bruised so badly that I feel like I can’t breathe and take it anymore – and then, I’ll remember – and grasp to memories of pure moments of joy I felt too… the laughter with friends, the hug from a child, the love of a good man. I remember skydiving and finishing my first manuscript, or the applause I got from the closing monologue of a play. I remember the awards I’ve gotten, the marathons I’ve finished, the gentle kiss from the most gorgeous celebrity I’d ever met…

I remember the times I helped people. Just yesterday, in fact, I helped a friend. I remember the times someone helped me and walked me through – and how amazing it felt to be so loved, so cared for. I remember the best parts – look, I’m not in denial of the bad or the sadness… but it goes something like this:  instead of remembering that my mother died, I remember that she lived!  And how brilliantly she did it with so much less… what an incredible life she had! That’s the trick. 

Honestly, I’m not sure it’s a trick after all, but a choice. It’s exactly how I’ve done it all these years. As much as I fall. As much as I hurt. As much as I fail. As much as I mess up. I look at the light of it all and pull myself back up. I may not always do it quickly or with much grace or even strength at all – I’ll admit I may even fall back down a few more times before I get it right – but damn-it if I haven’t always found my way through to joy somehow! 

My wish for all my friends and yes, even my enemies because I have more than a few, to anyone who may have accidentally found themselves reading all of this – my hope to everyone in this next upcoming year is to find more joy than not. To have gentle peace when you need it, to enjoy a belly full of laughter even when it’s inappropriate, and to always have hope. Yes, especially hope!  

Thank you for a GREAT 2021!  I’m so excited for what’s next.

Carmen Lezeth Suarez

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