Have you ever suddenly found yourself deconstructing your faith and questioning your beliefs about almost everything? Sifting through the fundamentals by which you were raised? Picking apart the rote rituals and rules of a particular denomination? Stripping your internal structures to the bare bones so that you might begin to rebuild a sturdier, stronger structure in its place?
For lack of a better term, I’m referring to it as an awakening.
An awakening to different perspectives, broader definitions, and deeper understanding. An awakening that demands exploration, open-mindedness, and honesty. An awakening that requires examination of past wounds, current traps, and future possibilities–both welcome and unwelcome. An awakening that brings great healing, painful disappointments, and ultimate freedom.
It’s not a pretty or pleasant process; yet, it is a natural and necessary process for deep-rooted growth. And it’s where I find myself now.
I wrote this poem (a term loosely employed) as a metaphor for the complex emotions I have felt during this journey. So, please enjoy this piece as I struggle through some big, uncomfortable questions about life, faith, God, religion, church, and the dark side of purity culture. *begin sarcasm font*This is so much fun.*end sarcasm font*
Bait and Switch
I learned to swim in these waters.
They felt safe back then,
drifting along with the current,
in an ocean with no end.
The warnings were clear:
keep inside the tight boundaries
lest my heart and mind
I blindly obeyed–
mostly for fear
of not checking the boxes;
thus, I drank the kool-aid.
Many years later, I coasted the sea
in waters much further, much further away
where I begin to just think–maybe there’s a different,
a more freedom-filled way.
I swam deeper still into my new home,
though it wasn’t all easy
I had more room to explore and to roam.
Until one day, I saw
with a new pair of eyes
what I believed
was built on man’s tries.
Out of nowhere, it came–
the fog lifted high;
blindsided by pain
I wanted to cry.
I’ve been robbed?
I’ve been cheated?
I’ve been lied to?
Now, I realize
what’s been stolen
is my identity.
Numb to the point
buried deep in my flesh,
my heart and my mind
have agreed to disjoint.
Not feeling is easier
than facing the facts.
Yet now that I know,
I can’t sit back and not act.
The sharp taste of steel-
of blood and of shame
to the brim, my mouth fills
as my soul is inflamed.
I’ve been robbed.
I’ve been cheated.
I’ve been lied to.
Far above me they sat
in their suits and their ties
and threw out the sinkers
filled with hopeless white lies.
I swallowed the bait
of a pure, snow white life
that would end at the altar,
making me the good wife.
Now, twenty years on-God, that stings just to say,
I have kept my end of the bargain
Only to find they were blindly leading my heart away,
with babbling, fear-based jargon.
The ring on my finger,
the noose that would bind me.
The pledge penned by my hand,
the soul-wound that would linger.
So many years wasted,
caught on the line.
I followed the rules,
and look where it got me–
broken and alone.
Still caught on the line,
now tasked with a chore
of untangling myself
to find my true core.
The waters I swam in
no longer feel safe.
Even if I break free,
will the scars always chafe?
These are the questions
my soul entertains
as, slowly, I feel
the hook’s grip
start to loosen;
I have no recollection of a sparkle in your eye when you looked at me.
I needed a father whose eyes lit up when I entered his line of sight.
I never felt treasured.
I needed a father who considered me a gift.
My worth was diminished by everything you loved more.
I needed a father who loved me most.
Your attention was what I craved, but even throwing myself into your hobbies wasn’t enough to gain that attention.
I needed a father whose affection I didn’t have to earn.
I wasn’t taught the value of a daughter.
I needed a father who showed me I was significant.
I felt threatened by you.
I needed a father who protected me.
I didn’t have permission to express my emotions and feelings without negative repercussions.
I needed a father who provided a safe place to explore my emotions.
I wasn’t known by you—my thoughts, interests, passions, and capabilities were overlooked.
I needed a father who saw me.
Father’s Day is not a day that I can celebrate with enthusiasm. Father’s Day is complicated. It is a stark reminder of the essential absence of a father figure in my life. Those of you who have known me a long time might be confused by that statement. Yes, my father was present in the home as I grew up, but he was absent in every other way. When I search my memory for instances that relay evidence of having a well-fathered heart, I come up empty.
After decades of ignoring the deep sadness and grief of not having the father I needed, those wounds are breaking through the surface of my heart, ripping open those tender spots that long to be healed. Currently, I am wrestling with the fathering heart of God. I’ve heard, all my life, that He is a Father to the fatherless, a good Father, a loving Father. Yet, when you grow up not only without a solid father figure, but also with a worldview shaped by the belief that a father is someone you have to tip-toe around lest you upset him, making a connection to the true Father-heart of God is difficult, at best.
Believing, deep in my heart, that I am a beloved daughter of the King is a challenge when my human understanding and experience tells me I am easily replaced and unwanted. Accepting that my heavenly Father wants nothing more than to spend time with me is unlikely when my experience tells me my presence is a bother. Knowing that I don’t have to work to earn the love of Father-God seems too good to be true when I feel unwanted.
All this is further complicated by the fact that I have a lot of unanswered questions about my sister’s death. Because how are you supposed to believe in a good Father when He’s allowed the person closest to you to die? It’s almost too much to bear.
For now, all I can do is push those questions aside as best I can and focus on solidifying my identity as a significant and irreplaceable daughter and God’s inherent character as a Father. Because until that belief is deeply rooted in my heart, mind, spirit, and soul, every other truth falls on deaf ears.
When I first began intentionally digging into this landmine of suppressed hurt, the Holy Spirit whispered a phrase to me:
“You were my daughter first.”
I’ve not fully unpacked the depth behind that statement yet, but I’m content to camp out there for a while.
I may not have the father I needed on this earth, but I’m clinging to the knowledge that my true Father is pursuing my heart, showing me how a Father loves His daughter one glimpse at a time until the deep knowledge of it replaces my experience with an earthly father. I’m counting on Him to re-Father the little girl inside me who needed a good father.
I’m tempted to let 2017 slip away quietly, to bid it farewell without the fanfare of a final blog post–because reflecting on all this year is and was and will be is a lot for a heart to handle.
(Just forty words in and already I feel the tears burning at the corners of my eyes.)
It was the worst best year I’ve ever experienced and trying to process all. the. things is overwhelming, razor-sharp, exhausting work. So, I’m just diving in to share an unedited glimpse of some of my highest highs and lowest lows of the year. This won’t be a cheery, tied-up-with-a-pretty-bow kind of post, but I hope my honesty meets you where you are, somehow–even if that means we sit in a heap of ashes and tears while remembering.
Between Thanksgiving 2016 and March 2017, I traveled back and forth between Texas and South Carolina a lot. My sister’s health was declining rapidly (damn you, cancer) and I was almost literally living with one foot in my native state and the other in the state I was trying to claim as my new home. Unsettled was the new normal I never asked for.
I’d had to quit my job in Texas in order to be so transient, and it was for the best, ultimately. It gave me the chance to spend some sweet last days at the beach with my sister and allowed for memories that gave me the strength to carry on through the rest of the year.
In January, I finished the first draft of my book manuscript. 55, 000 words in one document, ready to be edited and pitched to an agent. (One of those goals that hasn’t yet come to fruition.)
After two weeks of working furiously to map out a cross-country route and secure places to stay along the way, the #EpicBookTourTPD rolled out of town on April 1st. I was also leading my third launch team at this point (Jamie Sandefer’s Love You From Right Here).
Barely two weeks and four states in, I got the middle-of-the-night call no one wants to get (or make) while sleeping in a sketchy hotel on the Las Vegas strip. (I’m choosing to leave out a lot of details here, not only because this was and is a deeply personal period, but also because I don’t remember a lot of the two weeks that followed that call. It still feels like a nightmare to recall what I do remember.) I cried nonstop for at least three straight days, then tiny tears leaked out of the corner of my left eye for weeks after that. I stopped wearing eye makeup for the first time since I was thirteen. The last weekend of April, I flew from Salt Lake City to Greenville for her memorial service where I had the excruciating honor of eulogizing my little sister.
If it hadn’t been for the support of my closest friends who listened when I needed to yell or cry or talk about my sister, and the distraction of the book tour, I would have crawled into a hole this year. There were (and are still) occasions when I did crawl into a hole and had to be dragged out.
In the midst of the shattered mess of grief, I was given the gift of fulfilling a dream Jess and I had: a cross-country road trip. I knew, without a doubt, that she would kick my ass if I quit the book tour, so I grabbed her travel mascot–a green, plastic dinosaur named Migrating Monty–while in S.C. for the memorial service and flew back to Utah to rejoin Anna. Monty sat on the dashboard of the Epic Book Tour Mobile for the remainder of our trip, a constant reminder of my adventure-loving sister. I’ll never forget driving through the Colorado mountains the week after the memorial service when Hanson’s “I’ll Be With You In Your Dreams” started playing.
From April to August, Anna and I crisscrossed the U.S.A., covering 40 states, meeting hundreds (thousands?) of people, and driving a cumulative total of 23,461 miles.
In April, I was talked off the ledge of getting a grief tattoo in Vegas.
In May, we traveled from Colorado to New York and back to Texas. We saw Niagara Falls–the sightseeing highlight of the book tour. We got tattoos in Winona, Minnesota.
In June, we left Texas again and went east, traveling as far north as Pennsylvania. When we passed through the Carolinas, I had the opportunity to take Anna to my hometown to meet my people.
In July, we headed south to Florida and back to Texas before making a second trip to Utah, then coming home for two days before Anna headed to her birthplace in Mexico while I spent a few sweet days with my heart-friend, Kelli, in New Mexico to conclude the book tour.
Through August and most of September, I laid on the couch.
Seriously. After four months on the road, sleeping in a different place every few nights, and thousands of miles of sitting in a car–all while being in the shock stage of grief–left me entirely drained. I’d put my hand to the plow and did what I had to do. But once it came to an end, I turned inward, fast.
In late September, Anna threw me a lifeline, fished me out of the deep waters of depression, and offered a simple question: “If I make you an appointment, will you go?” (If you’ve read her book, you know what that question signified.) I said yes and she made the appointment for my first counseling session–something I knew I needed, but just the thought of beginning overwhelmed me.
October brought an opportunity to use skills I didn’t even know I had when Anna and I built a website and online course to disperse her expansive knowledge on leading launch teams. Turns out I’m pretty good at web design and have since helped design another website for a friend. Who knew?
November was a hard months for reasons I won’t disclose here, but it forced me to find my voice again. I flew to SC for a brief visit over Thanksgiving and cuddled my nieces, which is always good for my soul.
December began with a retreat I didn’t really want to attend, but I went anyway. And instead of pretending I was happy to be there, I gave myself the freedom to be real and let the other five women there know that I was struggling. Best decision ever. That weekend deserves it’s own post, so stay tuned.
My trip to S.C. for Christmas turned into a disaster from the moment I stepped in the Dallas airport until the time I boarded the plane back to Texas in Charlotte. An already hard holiday tipped the scales as everything that could have gone wrong did. Yes, there were some bright spots, but overall, it sucked.
So here we are. A few more hours of this year left.
I still have a lot to process, and I’m fully aware that it will be slow going.
Because of the way excitement and joy have been so entangled with grief and loss this year, I haven’t felt like I have permission to celebrate the good. And, honestly, that makes me angry. It’s not fair. What should have been the best year of my life–traveling the country, settling into a new home, discovering new talents, and working toward healing from old wounds–has been irrevocably robbed from me. And while I’m working on allowing myself the freedom to acknowledge the happy moments of 2017, they’re still greatly overshadowed by the broken pieces.
My desire to engage anyone on Twitter has been lacking most of the year (because it’s been one hell of a year), and I rarely reply to tweets (other than occasional replies to Anna’s or Jen Hatmaker’s tweets), but this one caught me in the gut and I was compelled to use my cyber voice and be heard.
Why did I reply?
Because I am tired, literally exhausted, of trying to be heard and seen in a world that is powered by and caters to extroverts.
Yes, I tell everyone I meet that I’m an introvert.
It’s a boundary-setting practice.
It’s a sanity-saver.
It’s a plea that you understand I need space.
I don’t have the energy to endure endless small talk or hours upon hours of being with people.
Some days I can fake being an extrovert quite well. (I did it for four months straight this year.)
Some days I can’t.
Some days/weeks/months, the reality of a cyclical battle with isolating depression and crushing anxiety shows up to the party.
Add an ugly wrestling match with grief and I have exceeded my ability to cope with all. the. extroversion.
And no—it’s not any one person who has driven me to the edge.
I live with the world’s most extroverted person, no doubt. (Everyone who knows me, knows this.)
But I’m addressing the larger scope of introversion vs. extroversion.
I’m putting my words out into the world because if I don’t, I am not being true to me.
By replying to Acuff’s tweet last night, I gave myself permission to be an introvert.An introvert who is currently struggling with finding ways to feed her introverted soul. An introvert who is fighting to keep using her words when all she really wants to do is curl up in a ball and hide from the world. An introvert who battles hourly against the voices of depression, anxiety, and grief that tell her she’s not worth fighting for.
“I don’t think you’re ready for this,” Anna warned as we approached the entrance gate.
Peering out the window at the miles of flat land the seemed to stretch on forever, I wasn’t convinced that there was any sight as impressive as what I’d been told out there. I was intrigued.
We drove through the gate and parked at the scenic overlook. Opening the car door, the winds of the west Texas high plains immediately whipped my hair into my face. As I struggled to keep my hair out of my eyes, we walked out to the overlook.
There it was.
The Grand Canyon of Texas.
I’m a woman of few [spoken] words in any given situation, but I had none as I looked across the canyon. The layers of colored rock, the hazy horizon in the distance depicted the rugged beauty my Carolina girl eyes aren’t accustomed to appreciating. To the left, to the right, to the fore–the canyon continued as far as my eyes could see.
It’s the word that came to mind as we stood there, and that has stayed with me since.
This year has brought many unfathomable, deep, impressive events.
Like the rough landscape of a west Texas canyon cuts through the earth, 2017 has cut a crevice in my heart, mind, and soul that will forever be there.
Just as the red clay of the canyon has properties with the power to stain, so have the events of this year stained my spirit, in ways both lovely and unbearable.
As I gazed across the canyon, trying to make sense of its vastness, I also found myself struggling to make sense of this year, of these months whose memories are so intertwined with sweet and bitter.
These months that have allowed me to experience so many different landscapes with both my eyes and my heart. Landscapes so breathtakingly beautiful and so bleak and unwelcoming.
Part of me wants to sit with pen in hand for hours and pour all the memories into the page. But part of me does not want to remember, because every single fun memory is tinged with the red-dirt stain of loss.
I want to write about those 23,461 miles that took Anna and I across the country. I want to tell the stories of how an introvert survived a four-month road trip. I want to share the pictures that prove we actually did it (because sometimes it all feels like a dream). Yet, remembering is hard right now. Not because I can’t remember, but because the bitter memories are still too fresh, too personal, too intertwined with the sweet.
They are unfathomable to my brain that still tells me I can text my sister.
They are a deep crevice that has been ripped through my heart.
They are a vast wound in my soul.
I’m trying something new and joining in on the Five Minute Friday Party (#fmfparty), a writer’s link-up hosted by Kate Motaung. Each Friday, she offers a single word writing prompt. The rules are to free write whatever comes to mind for five minutes using that one word as their prompt. No overthinking, no editing. Yikes! My friend Anna has “taken away” my delete key before–and I didn’t like it! We’ll see how this goes!
The water rushed over the cliff, dropping 186 feet into the natural pool at the bottom. We stood at the water’s edge, shaded form the July sun, a huge boulder at our backs.
Emotions rushed through my heart, thoughts flooded my mind, and tears dropped from the corners of my eyes.
The dam was beginning to break and I couldn’t stop it.
The grief that I’ve been holding back was cracking through the walls.
I turned around, facing the rock, and leaned into it, growling with frustration at my tears and the lack of comfort they brought me.
“Do you always snuggle up to rocks when there’s a person standing beside you??” she asked, holding out a hand.
It’s the ache of having had and now being without.
It’s the injustice of having been robbed of something dear, taken without your permission.
It’s the trauma of a moment, a diagnosis, a point of no return that wounds and scars your heart, your soul, your mind.
It’s the knowledge that nothing you could have done would have changed the outcome juxtaposed with the wondering if you did everything you could have done and should have done.
It’s the restlessness of not having any answers.
It’s the conflict without resolution.
It’s where I’m stuck.
It’s why I’ve been silent in words written and words spoken.
My body is in forward motion. The world still spins. Time still passes by the second, the minute, the hour, the day, the week, the month.
My feet keep moving, circling this uncharted territory. I’m left behind—no map, no reference point.
They’re all still.
They’re all silent.
I fear jostling any of them out of their reverie.
Of accepting the reality I’m still not ready to face.
To learn how to live with the absence that consumes my thoughts.
My words are still present tense.
I choke on past tense.
I can’t move her there yet.
If I do, I’ve lost something. Someone.
A vital piece of my own history, my own story.
Our shared story.
Our shared history.
So I sit. Silent. Holding myself in this shadowy valley, longing to turn back toward what was but is no more, unsure of what lies ahead and not ready to put forth the effort to start moving toward higher ground.
Denying the absence.
Questioning the reasons.
Stifling the anger.
Avoiding the breakdown.
The silence screams at me, willing me to break it, to find a balance between grief and joy, begging me to celebrate the good and process the ugly, to live in the light when everything seems dark.
The last conversation we had in person, just the two of us, happened on an ocean-front balcony. We were watching the waves roll in, relishing the warmth of the late February sun on our skin. It was a Sunday. The next week would bring more clinic visits, hospital appointments, and my return to Texas, but for that one afternoon Jess and I talked about all the things sisters talk about. Clothes, shoes, and makeup were our focus; she was giving me all her best tips, tricks, and pointers for creating a travel-worthy wardrobe for my upcoming four-month road trip with Anna. She told me my current wardrobe screamed “tired teacher” and that she aimed to turn me into a “structured businesswoman.” I laughed at her, but made detailed notes nonetheless.
Two months later, almost to the day, I awoke in the wee hours of the morning to the phone call I never wanted to receive.She was gone; my sister had slipped away during the night—she’d taken the “second star to the right and straight on til morning,”as Peter Pan says. In a hotel on the Las Vegas strip, my heart shattered into a million pieces that April morning.
When I’d texted Jess a few weeks before and told her we were adding a stop in Vegas to the itinerary, she replied, “yes to Vegas. Always yes to Vegas.” It was one of her top bucket-list destinations and we were both shocked that I’d make it there before she did. (Like Texas, Las Vegas was one of those places I had absolutely no desire to visit.) So when I woke up to the worst news of my life, it was sort of fitting that we were in Las Vegas.
As the new reality of living in a world without my sister settled over me, the desire to absorb the essence of who she is and was flooded every fiber of me. I couldn’t let her go; I couldn’t let her be forgotten; I couldn’t let her slip away completely.
Mid-morning, I rolled over on the bed and looked at Anna.
“I’m very seriously considering getting a tattoo while we’re here in Vegas.”
“Yes! Let’s do it,” was her response.
Enter our wise friend Jana who talked us out of spontaneously getting tattoos in Las Vegas. She talked us off that ledge and made us an appointment with her tattoo artist in Minnesota, buying us a few weeks to really think this through.
Back in March, my siblings ganged up on me in a group text and threatened to oust me from the family if I didn’t get on board with their idea for a sibling tattoo. Even so, I resisted. No way was I getting a tattoo. Nope. Not happening.
Now, there was no question in my mind. I was getting a tattoo and I was getting it to memorialize my sister. At first I considered a shooting star because Jess had been talking about getting a star tattoo for months and now I thought of her as a shooting star, streaking across the sky. But I’ve never actually liked the shape of stars.
When I flew home for the memorial service at the end of April, I still hadn’t decided on a design that would encompass the memory of Jess without being cliché—something she was certainly not. As I was looking through some of her things in her bedroom, I found it. Years ago, Jess spent a lot of time perfecting a logo for her photography business. Finally, she’d designed a logo that was a version of her first and last initials—JL—that didn’t look like her initials but rather a design akin to a fleur-de-lis. I found it drawn on a random piece of paper and knew that was my tattoo. Simple, meaningful, and something I could look at for the rest of my life.
It’s been emblazoned on my wrist for just six days, but the more I look at this tattoo, the more I see a star in it. Like a star, it has five points—all in the right spots. And that makes it even more perfect.
My sister was a star.
She was bright.
She was unique.
She was brilliant.
And I can only imagine that she is even more so now.
I love that writing is a cathartic outlet for processing the moments that make up my life—the celebratory, the nerve-wracking, the gut-wrenching. The words on the page hold the emotions of a few minutes, days, weeks, months, years; they convey the details that were most striking to my senses in a given timeframe. I love that the lessons I’m learning and the insight they bring are preserved on the page and within the tangled webs of the internet through my blog.
I love that I can share my growth with those who are a few steps ahead of me or a few steps behind me in the journey. I love that writing has provided connections with many women I wouldn’t otherwise know. Women who have reached behind them, taken my hand, and helped me find my footing on the path. Women who are finding their own footing who I can reach back to and guide along the path as those ahead of me have done.
But I hate it sometimes too. I hate it when I go for weeks (even months) without writing something other than to-do lists (I write an awful lot of lists these days). The absence of catharsis through the written word weighs heavily on my soul and my mind is bogged down by all the thoughts and lists of blog topics that pile up like hundreds of cars in the ten-mile New Jersey Turnpike traffic jam I once was unfortunate enough to experience. (Ironically, it was re-reading a seven-year-old blog of mine that reminded me of that scenario this morning.)
I hate it when I start thinking about numbers—wondering how many people actually read my blog, or berating myself for not posting on a regular basis, or lamenting the fact that writing blogs “the right way” doesn’t flow easily for me (I don’t think I’ve ever written a post that was less than 800 words).
I hate the pressure to say something witty, or to make a profound statement. If I let those thoughts run wild and free, I can talk myself out of writing for quite a while.
But when the release comes—when I allow the mental block to crack, when I sit in front of my laptop and let the words start flowing, I’m always a bit surprised at the sentences, the paragraphs, the pages that begin to appear on the screen.
Words are in me. They always have been. Words are as much a part of me as breathing. And just as I need to inhale and exhale in order to breathe, I need the words that pour into me to also pour out of me.
You’d think I would have learned this lesson by now.
That I would carve out time each day to jot a few sentences…a few paragraphs…a few pages.
Interestingly, as I’m sitting at my desk typing this post, my phone buzzes with a calendar reminder: Manuscript Deadline, today at 7:30 p.m. Last October, I tasked myself with having the fifty-thousand-word, first rough draft of my book manuscript completed by February 27th. I surprised myself by meeting that goal on January 14th. And as happy as I was to have accomplished the task that seemed so impossible, I immediately started letting all my insecurities about writing a book start piling up: who am I to write a book? Who’s going to actually read this book? Are my thoughts valuable enough to sandwich between a front and back cover and share with the world?
For the weeks sandwiched between January 14th and yesterday, February 23rd, I did not peek at the manuscript. I pushed it aside, knowing that although I needed to let it sit and rest for a bit, eventually I needed to open it back up, poke around in those pages, and begin the messy process of editing all those words.
A lot has happened in my personal life since the night I pushed my manuscript aside. Some parts of those weeks feel like distant memories and other parts of those weeks are still very tender spots that need care and attention. I’m walking a fine line of knowing what is mine to share and what isn’t—which is a huge reason that I’ve been absent from this blog. My story is closely woven with the stories of others and much of what is happening in my heart, mind, and spirit is so entangled in the stories of others that I can’t fully express it.
It’s a season that I both love and hate.
I love the growth and new opportunities that are placed before me daily. I love the new people I’m meeting. I love that so many aspects of my life that are now normal or becoming routine were once some of my greatest fears. I love the paradox of it.
But I hate that my heart is in many places while my physical body can only be in one. I hate that arriving in one place means leaving the other. I hate the paradox of it.
It’s a season in which breathing deeply—inhaling and exhaling both air and words—is the greatest act of self-care I can offer myself.
With only one day left in the year, there are far too many thoughts rolling around in my head to record them all.
Sitting in the recesses of the notes app on my phone is a moderately long list of topics and thoughts for blog posts that haven’t made it out of my brain yet. They need out. Desperately. But lately it’s been really hard to focus on writing. I fight the actual act of sitting down and writing so adamantly.
Pouring your heart out into words is hard work. It takes effort and energy—both of which are in short supply these days. Just keeping my head above water is all I can do some days.
2016 has been such a weird year.
It’s been a really freeing year.
I gained a tribe of internet friends who have become real-life heart friends.
I got rid of my stuff, moved across the country, and embarked on a journey that has taken me places I never imagined in the last six months.
I found pieces of me that were seemingly lost. 2016 has grown me in remarkable ways that have left me in awe of who I am these days. It’s given me confidence and backbone.
But 2016 has really sucked, too.
Earlier this year, my sister was diagnosed with a rare abdominal cancer. It’s a disease that doctors don’t even really know what to do with.
I’ve been vague and mostly quiet about that aspect of the year, because it isn’t my story to tell. It’s a story that greatly affects me, but it isn’t my story.
This part of the story has required me to take every day on step, one minute, one hour at a time.
I don’t quite know what to do with 2016.
I can’t tie it up with a pretty bow—or even a lopsided one.
I’m anxious to see it go, but grateful for the good moments it brought.
And if I’m completely honest, I’m a bit apprehensive about 2017.
Starting tomorrow, I’m joining a group of new friends (half of whom I haven’t actually met yet) to work through a goal-setting webinar over the next few days. The coming year is full of possibilities—most of which are going to require more leaps of faith off scary cliffs. (And I thought moving to Texas was the hard part. Ha.)
I’ve also been trying to land on my One Word for 2017.
This year’s word (UNBOUND) came out of the blue and gave me a run for my money.
It turned out to be a fairly accurate guide for 2016.
I think I already know what 2017’s word is, but I’m not positive yet.
Or maybe I’m just afraid to declare it…