Why 2023 Will Be My Year of Resurrection

Columnist Brianna Albers shares her new year mantra for the next 12 months

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by Brianna Albers |

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The banner for Brianna Albers' column depicts a wolf howling against a background of mountains and trees, with the words

I have been waiting my entire life.

Waiting for someone to love me. Waiting for the snow to melt. Waiting for my skin to clear so I could leave the house without feeling like an embarrassment of a human being. Years ago, in 2019, I wrote a column about a song from “Frozen II,” in which I claimed I was the person I’d been waiting for.

It’s 2023, and I’m still waiting.

Every December, I choose a mantra for the coming year, a word or phrase that resonates with me in my current phase of life. Each year, I name what I want more of, from career success to intimacy and closeness. The word I choose is my guiding star, informing every choice I make over the next 12 months.

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In 2020, my mantra was “vitality”; in 2021, it was “brave.” My mantra for 2022, which technically was “liberation,” actually was a lyric from Fiona Apple’s “Fetch the Bolt Cutters.” In many ways, the pandemic — and the resulting isolation — had become a kind of prison. I wanted to escape more than anything.

I wanted to be free.

2022 was a whirlwind, from personal heartbreak to cross-country trips that reminded me of the importance of advocacy. I cried a lot. I stared at the wall above my desk and wondered if there was a point to it all. I identified not only what I wanted in life but also what would be required of me to turn those dreams into reality.

There were no prison escapes in 2022. I didn’t break my way out of anything. But I did sever ties with things that were no longer serving me, from people to mindsets and habits. So, in a way, 2022 was my year of liberation.

And now it’s 2023. I am freer now than I was last January. But I want more.

Doing it all the time

If you follow me on Spotify, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been listening to a lot of Taylor Swift. Like, a lot. I have a playlist titled “reputation era” with my favorite songs from her 2017 album, “reputation,” which I’ve pretty much been playing on repeat.

Look What You Made Me Do” is her response to a feud with Kanye West. But it’s not the scandal that gets me; it’s a semi-forgettable line from the chorus: “Honey, I rose up from the grave/ I do it all the time.”

The past several years have felt like death. COVID-19 stripped me of everything from my social life to my caregiving team. Since graduating with a master’s degree in early 2020, I’ve been lost, uncertain of where to go or what to do. Life was more or less a grave.

But I’m starting to come back to life. Leaving the house, seeing friends — I’m even making progress with my book for the first time in what feels like forever. I’m remembering how to be a person again, with all that entails, the mess and the magic.

So my mantra for 2023 is “resurrection.” Having liberated myself from all that kept me bound, I am rising from the grave.

It’s not that surprising. After all, I do it all the time.

Thanks for reading! You can follow me on Instagram and Twitter, subscribe to my newsletter, or support me on Substack.

Note: SMA News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of SMA News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to spinal muscular atrophy.


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