Here we are, once again, on the brink of a New Year! Though not quite a holiday in the American sense of the word, it is an occasion I really treasure.
Last night I sat down to make a list of the events and accomplishments of the past year and to reflect on my personal growth and direction my life has taken. 2012 was a year of adventure and big dreams in Germany; 2013 was filled with more ordinary and practical milestones. Most significantly, I finally completed my Bachelor's Degree and found a job in my field and that allows me freedom and room to be creative. I introduced "my" children – the kiddos I work with – to crochet, art journaling, NaNoWriMo, color theory, and principles of drawing, among scores of other art projects. I also reveled in and thoroughly soaked up each and every season: I spent nearly the entirety of the summer barefoot; witnessed wee robins taking their first flights; studied firefly dance and the daily adventures of six sweet chickens; reveled in thunderstorms; marveled at the first snow of the season; and ate ripe pawpaws from the tree. After eleven long months, my love and I finally were together again and (eep!) began to make solid plans for our future. I crossed two goals off of my bucket list, having visited a Connecticut beach in December, the sand covered in snow and the waves reflecting the waking sun's golden light, and attending the annual PostSecret Picnic. I read. I sewed. I created.
My word for this past year, chosen in early January, was awakening. The manifestation of this intent, I think, wasn't quite what I expected: instead of awakening big dreams and focusing on developing spiritually and in self-love and growth, I believe I instead was faced with an awakening of what some call the "real world" – the reality of wages and legislative barriers, student loans and ordinary life.
I have chosen the word charge for 2014. I am a bit surprised, to be honest, that I was inspired by a word that is aggressive, but I think I am in need of and ready for this push. "Charge" is both a verb and a noun, and I hope that it will inspire me both to 1) charge into my life whole-heartedly with determination, confidence, and courage, prepared to meet whatever comes my way with the faith that I am strong enough to persevere and to 2) find and nurture the things that charge me, sending electricity through my spine, bringing me to life, and renewing my energy.
< Here's to big, beautiful things and magical everyday things that will greet us tomorrow and the months and year to follow. Here's to highs and lows taken in stride, big celebrations for accomplishments both large and small, to self-growth and self-discovery and self-love, to treating others as you would treat yourself and treating yourself the way you would others, to friends and family and challenges and breakthroughs and everything else life sends our way. It will be a wonderful year, darling, whatever comes.
Wishing you the most wonderful turning of the year, my dearest friends. All my love – Happy New Year!
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.
So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
- Neil Gaiman