2018 was... difficult.
The most fundamental part of writing is the ability of introspection. This can be a writer's best friend or worst enemy depending on their life's circumstances.
I lost my introspection last year. When my father passed on May 5th, I lost all ability to look within and contemplate my thoughts and feelings. I went into a sort of survival mode where I went through all the actions of being alive and functioning as an adult, but I was numb. I guess you could say that I was in shock. I have lost loved ones before, but never one as close to me as a parent.
It's expected though, right? Parents are supposed to go before their children, and even when they haven't been feeling well, you're supposed to be prepared for it. I thought I was.
I wasn't. Nothing can prepare you for that sudden void in your life of where a loved one used to be. It's staggering to come to the realization some days that you don't have the option of calling them and asking for advice. You don't have the option of dropping by for a visit. That they will never again surprise you on your birthday with their famous carrot cake.
I've lived a lot of adult days without talking to dad when he was alive, especially since he was such a hard ass. Not having that ability to communicate with him anymore is what really stabs a hole through my center, and that's what the physical ache feels like too. It comes less often now, but when it does it's unexpected and takes my breath away. It can be as simple as a song on the radio or the weather outside that he would have commented on, but that stabbing ache can come at any given moment. It's surreal that it's a physical pain for an emotional ache, but it's there.
I'm carrying on. That's what dad would expect and I won't do anything less. After all, he didn't raise a princess, but he did train a Valkyrie.