Happy Happy New Year!!!
Here’s to hoping you woke up this morning with a huge smile on your face (minor headache or not!)
As we finish the Chapter of 2016 and turn the page to the next lines of our story, I am overwhelmed with a magnificent sense of gratitude. 2016 was equally painful and joyful, grotesque and beautiful. It was an incredible expression of the contradiction of life and all the imperative lessons a full existence has to offer.
Here is the thing, we only get one life. One shot. (At a time, anyway) And life is far too precious to be tied into knots worrying about what other people may think, holding back because of the negative voices in our head, or negotiating pieces of ourselves to make other people more comfortable.
The realization I had spent the majority of my life like this was both humbling and freeing. My guess is that many people live this way – blinded by the negative feedback of a few angry souls, instead of excited about the limitless possibilities in doing what they love.
I was afraid.
Afraid of the ruthless critics both personally & professionally. At times, this fear proved immobilizing.
But then the scariest thing imaginable happened. The closest person in the world to me was stolen. Stolen. There are no words to describe this kind of soul shattering pain. And as nauseating as the experience is, there is also a sense of beauty in it. To be able to feel so much, to love so deeply, and to keep moving air through my lungs…it truly is a miracle. I can still hear the subtle voices of my mother and my boyfriend in the background saying, “breathe, baby, breathe” while I grasped violently for air.
To be able to feel the full range of human emotion – and to not lose hope – that is the meaning of life. To feel it all and be ok. To continue to believe in the beauty of humanity. To keep trusting this crazy, wild world. To survive.
And I learned (am still learning) how to be free.
And I became closer to my family.
And I decided to run ruthlessly after my dreams.
And I fell in love all over again, with the most amazing man I’ve ever known.
I had a friend tell me who I was seemed black and white from the moment I received the devastating phone call from my father.
In many ways she was right. Life is not black and white. But the way I saw the world was.
All the sudden it became so clear where my priorities were misaligned.
Whether or not people would judge the way I lived, if I stayed in on a Friday night,whether people viewed me as quirky or weird, full of shit or intelligent, the likes on Facebook, the number of followers on Instagram, the number on the scale – it all fell away in one quick breath. It no longer mattered.
What did matter was that the people I love felt loved. That I didn’t numb out, no matter how much it hurt. And that I learned to take really great care of myself.
Some relationships were strengthened, forged in fire. Others completely dissipated. Some were put on hold until I became a less scary version of myself. But it feels amazing to say everything superficial seems to be falling away.
I miss my Lukey, I always will. Mom, and I will always cry on Christmas. There will always be a gentle ache in my heart. And this is ok. Because we got to know him, to love him…and now we get to live.
More than ever, I believe my life’s purpose is to decipher all of my challenges, heart breaks, and obstacles to show other people how to love deeper, to not be afraid of feeling it all. So, bring it on, world. The more challenges I overcome, the more I learn. The greater my hope for all of us.
So here is what I hope for you in 2017:
#1 Pursue your passions with reckless abandon.
#2 Allow yourself to love fully.
#3 Go on more adventures.
#4 Make time to call the people you love.
#5 Take precious care of your body, you only get one.
#6 Laugh, really really loud.
#7 Don’t be afraid to be silly or quircky.
#8 Sign Offline.