“Ring out the false, ring in the true.” -Alfred Lord Tennyson
I realize this post about the New Year comes about 5 months and 30 days tardy, but I always arrive fashionably late so deal with it.
Writing is hard. Like once I start going for it, it becomes this easy thing like breathing and it just flows out of me. What I mean when I say it’s hard is that it’s raw, it’s naked, and it forces feelings to come to the surface that let’s face it, we as adult humans get really good at setting aside. I want to try my hardest not to do that so often and I have been working on it, trust me…just haven’t so much been writing about it. Writing for me is one of the most vulnerable things I do…and it’s been hard for me to allow myself to go there for awhile.
(Truth time: I started writing this post shortly after the new year, then again in March…it’s July tomorrow…just sayin’.)
Let me give you a little recap of what the last year was like in the life of me…
I’ll just lay the disclaimer right out there on the table: 2016 was literally the HARDEST WORST F*CKED PAINFUL ETC. year of my whole damn life. Not exaggerating, not emphasizing for dramatic effect, this is just a fact people.
I began 2016, well, 9 days into last year, by getting my ass kicked. Physically, yeah…that happened. Assaulted. Shoulder grabbed, yanked down to the ground, kicked, hair pulled, drug through the dirt, personal space violated, and expensive technology stolen, by a couple of females. I won’t go into more detail than that, but it was some scary and eye-opening shit. I came out of it fine other than some cuts and scrapes, a really bad hair day, and some new emotional baggage to work through oh and a residual shoulder injury that still gives me a really hard time to this day. Things could have been a lot worse and I am so grateful that it’s all behind me now. Moment of gratitude to thank the people who helped raise me, who gifted me the ability to see perspective in a tough experience, take the hard, and turn it into empathy. Being able to look at situations of adversity from the other side is not an easy mission, but it is sometimes the most important piece. I didn’t just have to take time to heal through that experience for myself, but for the young women who’s lives have brought them to a place where taking that kind of physical action as opposed to using communication is their way of life. Perspective is power…that was lesson 1 last year.
Some of you that have been following along my random adventures over the past few years know that I spent last summer in Portland, unemployed/FUNemployed (most days), and that I headed back to Seattle late last summer to start fresh in the city I have called home for most of my adult life and second home the rest of my life. Making Seattle home again wasn’t a decision that came easy or one that was written in the stars for me like I expected it to be. Since returning to the states, it’s been a long time coming actually. I couldn’t be happier to be back though, settled into my little cottage oasis in the city that has changed so much over the years, and be working and doing life near my friends and family again.
Fall came in hot with a new nanny job which I LOVE, closing a door on a REALLY f*cking tough love (yeah, that old chestnut FINALLY dropped from the tree for good in October-stay tuned…that vulnerability is coming), and a newfound sense of freedom and self love. When people say that finding your balance in life is a journey, they’re actually not even a little bit kidding. And what an adventure it’s been…
I’ve always been fiercely independent, strong willed, and SO open hearted…and truth be told, despite A LOT of heartache and disappointment, it’s NEVER steered me wrong. With all the trials and tribulations that 2016 brought me in personal health and wellbeing, emotional stability, heartache, mistakes, trust, listening, being heard, self-care, relationships, all that life shiiiiiit, I have never learned harder, the value of following your own gut instincts…yeah, that was lesson 2. Now that I’ve (almost) mastered it (real talk, I’m always going to be a work in progress and what brilliant work it is!), I am living a really great version of my life and coming out on top of all the bullshit I survived last year, is a feeling of raw empowerment like I’ve never known.
Through that empowerment, I had to make some really difficult decisions and cull some relationships in my life that were providing me with nothing, but toxicity and draining my heart and soul. I’ve written about how friend break ups are some of the hardest we experience in adulthood, the factor that makes that one the most challenging, is having to do the work to forgive the people we have to let go of…even when they don’t say they are sorry. You guessed it…lesson 3, forgiveness.
I chose to disconnect from a 12 year friendship with someone who seemed to be dead set on walking the path towards the pool where Narcissus died. I knew my love of Greek mythology would be forever, but I didn’t know until last year how painful it could be. I let go of the BIG love of my life or more brutally, it walked out on me and slammed the door. Where pain, ego, secrets, insecurities, passion, trust, empathy, unconditional love, fear, were present and thriving and also drowning. The demise was a long time coming (as you’ve likely gathered), sadly ending an almost 7 year best friendship in its wake. Freshly reeling from this loss, in the same 72 hours, I had to set hard boundaries with a soul friend who has been a love in my life, but who I felt I’d started enabling; a rapid spiral where love and lie gets so brutally blurred. I’m not sure where this one will end, my heart remains so hopeful that the shadows can find the light again and if not, the love I have for this person will never cease and the forgiveness work has been done; it will always run deep and eternal.
So in review, 2016 brought a physical ass beating and then continued to mentally and emotionally kick my ass ALL. YEAR. LONG.
12 months. 356 days (yeah that’s 365 minus those first 9 days that seemed so bad ass)…of some hard damn times. But, being ever the optimist that I try daily to be, those days were the most character building of my life thus far. Even more so than my backpacking days in the land down under, more so than my crazy college times, more so than any other time life prepared me to survive and thrive through some serious shit storms. I have come into 2017, a new year, so much stronger, so much lighter, more empowered, more focused, more in love with myself than I’ve ever been and the momentum keeps building.
I have a strong feeling that the final days of this year will be some of the greatest I’ve known, because…really, when all is said and done, when all the false and heavy has been laid to rest, it is the truth we have to live for. The truth is what gives everyday the chance to be our new best day.
Hoping 2017 has brought you all happiness and health and that the coming days are some of your best!