A Year Ago Today

Howdy again, it’s me, Tristan.

In honor of the blog turning a year old today, I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude for the journey the past year has been. To remind you and remind me about why this space exists. 364 days ago, but since I decided to post on February 29th, 2020 we’ll go ahead and call it a full year ago, I published my very first piece titled “Howdy I’m Tristan.” In that piece, I told the world that:

“…with each post, my wish is that you are left rejuvenated and ready to continue towards a better you. I hope you find value in each post, whether that comes as a new idea, a different perspective, or simply an enjoyable read. Know that I do not claim to know the truth, only mine. I cannot tell anyone what is right for them, but my purpose here is to help guide them towards the things that make them feel alive.”

When I typed those words, I really meant it. However, I had absolutely no idea that just a few weeks later the world would be rocked back and forth and undergo turmoil and pain as I’ve never seen. Caused by a global pandemic paired with heightened social/racial tensions across the globe and economic downturns all of which we are still experiencing today and will likely feel the effects of for years to come. Yet, somehow, here we are. I want to both stress the importance of resiliency both of mind and spirit, while also acknowledging that we cannot “resiliency” our way out of the systems that oppress us, we (the individual) must come together as many of us have been doing to challenge the status quo. Whether this is at work, at school, or at a governmental level, the time for change was yesterday. But, I digress…

My point is, a year ago I like most others would not have imagined that this is where I’d be. The pain, heartache, and growth have been intense and I’m choosing to be grateful for that. Just as I said almost six months ago:

“I committed myself that this blog would be a place where authenticity lived, where through storytelling we could all pause for a moment to think, learn, and be taught.”

Think. Learn. Be taught. That is my only wish. That we challenge the things around us, striving for a better tomorrow and making the changes needed (whether internally or externally) to accomplish that.

I’ve recently come to learn more closely what authenticity, presence, and “flow” look like in this sense. In my therapy session this week, I mentioned how difficult writing this piece was for me because I just couldn’t pinpoint exact moments where my writing got better, or more impactful. I told them that I stared at this screen for hours, hair in hand, wondering “What the hell have I really done this year?!” I played around with the idea of sharing the “data” (i.e., views, subscriber counts, shares, etc.) AKA all of the shiny bullshit that distracts me simple because it is easy to notice. But my therapist helped guide me towards a conclusion that I think applies here, my personal life, and everywhere.

They told me that true growth is subtle. Growth doesn’t happen as we want it to all the time. It won’t be like “Well, on this day of this month, at approximately this time, I finally learned how to be a better person.” True, long-lasting growth takes time to develop, and it does so by bridging the gap between our intuition and our understanding. This made sense to me. You see, intuitively I can tell you how my writing has changed, how my pieces have been interacted with, and why that matters. But I’m still plagued by self-doubt, simply because I don’t “know” that what I’m doing is worthwhile. By this definition, clearly, I have some more growing to do.

Growing, that I’d like to do with you. Over the past year, I must imagine you too have undergone drastic change, confrontation with innate desires and biases, new feelings about who you are and what you are doing. I believe this, albeit painful, is what makes life worth living. So, with that said, here’s to the last 365 days, dear god may the next year not be as fucking crazy as the last but may the growth we come to experience be just as meaningful.

And just to be sure, if it hasn’t been explicitly stated, I am so thankful for each and every one of you who have come along this journey with me. From the readers in passing to my close friends who I bombard with “can you read this draft, just one more time.” My sincerest gratitude to you all. I look forward to a new years’ worth of content creation and growth. 

Much Love,