2016 broke my heart.
It was a year that presented so many challenges and fears: a brain tumor scare, someone putting nails in all four of my tires, the ending of relationships, health scares and job losses in my family, a frightening political landscape, and the belief that I was at the mercy of fate. I was filled with fear. I was, in some ways, a stranger to myself.
But as a friend so beautifully put it, the cracks are were God, love, and light enters.
I attended a wedding today. And the pastor so beautifully shared that creation itself is a love story. Their love gave them a child. He feels God’s love for us was so strong that he burst into a million pieces; the Big Bang wasn’t about just particles and molecules but about love. And love, he says, is the connecting thread that’s woven. Life is full of surprises, of fights of the pain, but love keeps us going.
Oh, how I’ve cracked this year. But oh, how love has pulled me on and on.
So there’s another story. A story I need to tell, because it needs to be told. And in a voice stronger, and louder, and with more passion and more courage than the other.
This year, I…
- became a certified yoga teacher
- started to sew, purchased my first sewing machine, and made blankets, headbands, pillows, and even pajama pants
- learned lyra, stilt-walking, trapeze, the German wheel, juggling, and acrobatics
- jumped into a waterfall
- assisted on two yoga retreats
- did yoga on a horse
- committed to a big adventure in 2017
- raised awareness for an amazing ethical fashion company I believe in
- saw the value in using my voice
- auditioned for a show, and got the part I wanted
- taught myself the ukulele
- directed a musical and a Shakespearean play, two of my best yet
- won an award at work for exemplifying one of our core values
- watched my goddaughter grow
- took Daisy to the beach
- presented at a global forum in New York City, along with Gloria Steinem and Ariana Huffington
- ran two 5ks
- visited two animal sanctuaries
- planted a garden
- revisited this project
- gained two wonderful roommates
- was entrusted with the education of over 100 girls
- saw friends and family
- cried tears of happiness
- learned, again, that I am stronger than I ever thought imaginable.
I attended a bonfire today. I threw all that I wanted to into a fire. Friends were courageous and kind and trusting enough to share their lists with me as well, and I made sure they were included in the flames. And I watched them burn, and smolder, and eventually become embers.
I don’t know what 2017 holds. But my resolution is to rise up. To rise beyond my own expectations for myself, my limiting beliefs of what is possible. To rise above the inevitable hurt and pain and cracks. To reach and strive toward possibility.
On the last page of my letter to 2016, I wrote: “you thought you knew me. But I’m not this year. I am the phoenix.”
It may have been the red wine talking, or my inner fire; regardless, may it be so:
Here’s to rising in 2017. I am grateful for all of you.