I’m back! It’s been a while, but nothing like a new year to pick up a project, dust it off, and try again.
Like most people, January 1 sends me into a positive frenzy of reflection and anticipation. A new year feels infinite, full of potential and possibility, and filled with all the sparkly promise of new adventures. So here I am, with renewed enthusiasm, to reflect a little on last year, think about what excites me for this year, and get back in touch with Little Bird.
We got married. Four months later, and it still feels pretty incredible to say. It’s a quiet thrill to look down and see two rings on my left hand. To call Matthew my husband – (I wonder when that word becomes normal? Even months later, it still makes me giddy). I’m working my way around to a full post (and probably a few?) on weddings and all the things that came up for me around that time; a list that runs the gamut from “ten things I’d tell someone planning a wedding” to the seemingly inevitable intersection of brides and body image and how I crashed into it, to all the ways that my wedding made me think about death. Definitely more than one post.
For now, we’ll just say that the whole experience was pretty damn incredible and certainly among the biggest things that happened last year.
I toured. From June into August, I was out on the road as a company manager. It was one of the hardest, most thrilling, most exhausting, most challenging, and ultimately most rewarding experiences. We went to 36 cities in 7 weeks, zig zagged across the US and into Canada on a 12-person sleeper bus, enjoyed playing shows in some truly incredible and historic theaters from NY to LA ,and Detroit to Atlanta. I met some incredible people, took on challenges I didn’t know I could (including facing off with police while in my pajamas and learning how to communicate parking instructions to three busses and three 52-foot trailers), and explored a bunch of places I’d never been. It was full of profound growth on both a personal and professional level.
We traveled. We went to Portugal for our honeymoon and it was the first time I had been out of the US since I went to Japan between my junior and senior years of college. I was reminded how enriching it is to spend time as “the foreigner.” To be somewhere where I didn’t understand most things and could only say “thank you” in the native tongue. To see and smell and eat and walk and discover how much bigger the world is beyond the corner that I occupy. I hope for more of this in 2019. More discomfort, more global challenges, more discovery, more outdoor adventures.
We celebrated and cried and dreamed. On our own. With each other. With other people. We celebrated the marriages of two other sets of beautiful friends. We tried to make sense of a world and a country that got messier by the moment. We cheered when the midterms delivered a wave of bright, diverse, bold, and brilliant women to our fractured and frozen government. We celebrated the opening of a couple new shows, the birth of an already beloved but still un-met (by us) new baby. We had brunch on our patio, went to the beach and came home salty and sunburned. We wondered if we would stay in NYC. We regularly found reasons to love this city, and regularly came home crushed and defeated. We think about why we’re doing this – living here, struggling with and for work, pursuing dreams that often feel as though they’re in vain. And then we see a play, or have dinner with friends, or sit on the beach, and come face to face with our own innumerable blessings.
The word “resolutions” felt narrow and limiting this year. And “goals” whispered that they would be inextricably linked with failure. So I’m holding onto…I don’t know. Themes? Auras? Intention clouds? A sort of nebulous and broadly defined set of guiding intentions for a new year.
Hydrate. Water is so important. I’m so bad at drinking it. Its easier, somehow?, to have a cup of coffee, or juice, or, frankly, nothing. But I feel gross when I get to the end of the day and haven’t had enough water. Sometimes any water. My lips are chapped, I feel unfocused, and I’m pretty sure my skin gets dull. So I’m making 2019 the year of water. Intentional water. Fulfilling and life giving water. Water that gets rid of toxins, refreshes the mind and body, is necessary for life, and brings forth dewy and glow-y skin.
Move. I have a plan here, but I’m keeping it to myself for now, because I’m doing it for me (not because anyone told me to or I need to lose weight or whatever) and I think that’s important. I’ll let you know how it goes later in the year. But I need to move more. I need to stretch more. Twist more. Curve more. Kitchen Dance Party more. I want to be hiking and kayaking and adventuring and dancing with Matthew when we’re 85, and so I’m making it a point now so that I am able to then. I also want to prove to myself that I can do this thing. For me. For my word. For my accountability.
Be Still. This is one of the parts of the bible that stands out for me. “Be Still and Know.” I am so good at surrounding myself with noise. My own thoughts. A TV show in the background. A podcast. Even falling asleep, silence has become hard for me. I wonder why this is – is it because as I’ve gown up, the monsters have moved from under the bed to my own thoughts? The next day’s to do list. That thing someone said at work. The fact that I didn’t make it to the gym. Uncertainty about the future. I want to re-learn how to sit in silence. To listen to my heartbeat, journal, blog, read a book. I want to be comfortable in my own head. And if those adult-monsters are there too, then we’ll all just have to figure out how to get along.
Write. I hope to be here more. It’s a little like going to the gym – hard to do, but oh so worth it once I’ve started. More poems, more posts, more processing.
Practice Stewardship. As Matthew and I figure out how to merge “mine” and “his” into “ours,” we’ve talked a lot about stewardship of our resources. This conversation has so many facets – stewardship of our financial resources. Of our health and bodies. Of our relationships. We’re still figuring out what this means for this year, but we’re trying be more conscientious when approaching how we use and spend our time and money, and how we care for our resources and investments, from our home to our bodies to our brand new marriage.
On a more visceral level, 2019 has some very interesting plans in it already. A big trip at the end of May to attend two weddings. My 30th birthday in July and a long-anticipated bucket-list trip to celebrate it. Returning to a beloved job for the fourth year (a new record for this freelancer). I can already see some endings. Some beginnings. Some visits with friends, some new friends, some renewed collaborations. Some re-imagined goals taking new and interesting shapes.
I’m excited. ♥