In the most recent years every single World of the Year has had the common theme of change, changing me, and for my word of the year 2020 it’s time for something different. 2019 was a year of healing and perspective for me, of taking much-needed steps to recognise that I have PTSD and have had it for quite a while. It’s been with me since I went through a traumatic experience when I was at my most vulnerable, at a time when I was already traumatised and hurt from years of bullying. I’m learning that what I need to do now is not to change but rather piece the pieces of me back together.
The Japanese art of Kintsugi is known as the art of precious scars and originally began with pottery. Rather than throwing out a broken pot the Japanese use those breaks, those scars, to create a new piece of art. They fill the breaks with precious metals to create gorgeous creations. The principle behind Kintsugi is that “that broken objects are not something to hide but to display with pride”.
Kintsugi has unsurprisingly begun to be used to heal trauma and deal with stressful situations. I’m currently undergoing therapy for my trauma and mental health and I’m already beginning to apply some of the aspects of Kintsugi. I also come from a background familiar with Shintoism, and while I follow a slightly different spiritual path (Paganism) I see similarities in Shintoism within my own beliefs. It wasn’t much of a surprise to me, therefore, to find a Japanese art technique on the tip of my tongue when I searched my mind for my Word of the Year.
There was no doubt in my mind that Kintsugi was the right choice for my word of the year 2020. I’m done changing, metamorphosing, treasuring. I’m done trying to fit into other people’s boxes, working to their standards and censoring myself to do it. I’m done wasting my time in one-sided and toxic relationships. Instead, I’m going to be filling those gaps with precious positive things and new growth. Last year was tough, and so has the start of this one but I’m realising that I’m capable of a lot more than I realised.
More importantly, as I break down what happened to me I’m learning that I always was strong, I just didn’t realise it. As I put the pieces of me back together I don’t hope to become something different for once, I just want to become me, just healed and stronger.