I debated writing an end of year post. I have been in what feels like an endless sinking, felt myself fading so rapidly as the days drag forward, bringing me closer to 50 and what I imagined would be an overwhelming disappointment in who I have become. But, then I stepped back, allowed myself to refocus, to see beyond the sadness that I write about so frequently, and breathe in the joy of my life, which I probably don’t write about often enough.
Like any year, this one has been challenging. I have been through deep depressions and periods of grief. There is a lot I have written about, and even more that I have kept inside. But, even through these difficult times, I haven’t been alone. Every day, I have the gift of my husband, who gives me an immense amount of strength and love, even in my craziest moments. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but I am going to love him and hang onto him with every fiber of my being, for the rest of my days. He is my safe landing. My home.
I have also been given the gift of an amazing community of friends, teachers, mentors, and so many fellow writers who are constantly inspiring me. I have been given new eyes, over and over again, shown that I have value when I believed I was empty and worthless. I feel immensely honored and grateful every single day, even when the days have grown darker than I thought they ever could. I am reminded, with love and kindness, that it isn’t just me and my demons alone in the darkness.
And then there is the writing. My writing year has been richer than I ever could have imagined. My work has been published and shared and even awarded. Due to the kindness of others, I have begun to believe that my voice has the capability of being strong and is sometimes even worth hearing. Most importantly, I have been told that my words heal and help others feel connected and less alone. As a writer, that is the greatest gift I could possibly hope for.
I have built friendships this year that will last a lifetime, and strengthened bonds that I feared had been broken. Teachers and mentors have come into my life; creative influences who have already changed the shape and breadth of my writing and shown me roads I didn’t know existed. I have also burned bridges; some I am sorry to have burned and others I had to burn in order to step off the edge, to fall and to fly.
I end the year feeling grateful and loved, sad and even afraid, but not alone. I know that 2019 will bring its share of challenges, but I step into this new chapter feeling thankful for the love I have been given and been able to give in return, for friends and family..and for the words that give me breath and a sense of feeling alive. I go into the new year striving for balance, for creativity and the strength to continue to write and live as honestly as I can.
To anyone who may happen upon these words….Thank you for being a part of my story, and for allowing me into yours. I am humbled, honored and grateful. I hope that the new year will be rich with love, joy and an endless flow of creativity for everyone.