I choose champagne

2016: the last word pt2

Here goes nothing.

I just went back and read my words prior to 2016. And the final line of that blog was “here’s to a new year with space for all the things.”

I just wrote four or five lines on how this statement wasn’t true. But I deleted them because I realized that this year did indeed have all the things. Meaning there was space for them.

There just wasn’t space for anything else.

I wrote in part one how I cried a lot this year. Painful, gut-wrenching, heartbreaking sobs.

But, because most things in my life in one way or another relate back to tiny humans as this last week has been me in a state of exhaustion I began thinking about this fact that’s always in the back of brain especially in regards to the tiny humans that take a little bit more of my teacher Meg voice.

For every negative that is spoken over a human (no!, that wasn’t a good choice, redirecting, or even stepping into help with a direction) you need 5 positives to balance it out. And actually, at the end of the day most need ten. We have an average of about 20,000 interactions a day. And how many of those are positive or negative. 

This is where I feel we get hit.

This is where I feel I get hit.

Partly because if I’m being honest , I am not the first to speak positive things to myself. Not neccesarily that I speak negatively to myself, but I don’t counteract the outside world.

I also am not the greatest at receiving the words or big acts from people. 

It’s not like I had many people being mean to me left and right this year. But I had a lot of being second choice, I had people physically showing me they did not want to be in my life, I had a lot of the life around me telling me I wasn’t enough, or that I was needed not wanted and I had people that showed they didn’t respect the kids I loved so dearly to just show the eff up. (Ex. The dark times in T1. Shout out here to: Katy and Krys for always being there, Jamie for always being encouraging, elizabeth for looks through the window, Victoria for always showing up early and Patty for always having wine)

So, as I’ve come to the end of this year I feel I can say that this as a sum up of all the things:

2016 was a full fledge attack on my identity.

It was a year that told me time after time after time that I wasn’t enough, or good enough, or first choice, or wanted. It was a year that told me to just give up. It was year that tried to strip the joy away from things in my life that are good and lovely.

But you know what? There is something, deep ingrained in me, that tells me that the lovely and good are still there. And for as much as I will be the first to say that I battled things in this year that I thought were long passed-insecurities, and ghosts and anxiety I will also say but.

Because the people.

Because the people in my life had so many lovely, celebratory things happen in their life and they invited me along for the ride. Because the people in my life had hard, hard times and they invited me to grieve with them. Because the people in my life put their arm around my shoulder when I had no words for what I needed. Because for as many times as I told the people in my life that they weren’t crazy and it was ok they said the same thing back.

If this year has taught me anything or really reiterated a lesson I already knew, it’s that I do better, I’m more myself because of the people around me. 

And on the days when the lives of the people around me cause me to see what I’m lacking, I have to choose to remember that without them I’d be lacking and vice versa.

So yes, I have absolutely no problem saying this year will not go down as a favorite. 

But I will say that I learned to celebrate small things and REALLY celebrate the joyous beautiful things. 

I will say I learned to choose my battles. And to stand my ground.

I will say learned to say no (more than the year prior)

I will say I fell more deeply in love with the people in my life.

Because without them, what’s really the point?

So 2016, I bid you a gigantic peace out. I thank you for the tears from laughter, for the margaritas on Tuesday, the champagne on Sundays, for a dozen cheesecakes and tables teeming with people. 

But like, please let the door hit you on the way out.

2017, let’s choose champagne. 

Honest, I choose champagne

Not the last word pt1

We’ve reached the point in the end of the world/natural disaster/plane crash on a deserted island movie where the survivors are about to see the sunlight for the first time. They are bracing themselves. They know that the outside is still there because they can hear the wind and see scattered light in the midst of the caves of wreckage they find themselves under, but like what if there are zombies waiting, or people with huge guns, or worse: zombies with huge guns.

What if what’s outside the wreckage is just as bad as being piled under it?

Or as per Jamie…what if we can’t breathe out there?

Now, pardon my French, but for the most part, 2016 has been a shitshow.

And even though I almost feel like I can use a royal WE in this blog (which Patty knows I only ever use with permission) I won’t use it. I will say that there are people in my life who have been in the trenches with me in this year. People around me who the same year as I did. People who were exhausted all the time. People who shook their fist unable to figure it out.

I think I’ve cried more this year than I have ever cried. I ugly cried this year. I hurt in ways I didn’t think possible. I was gut wrenchingly lonely amidst some of the best people I’ve ever known. I battled depression so much that I collapsed on my bed most Fridays. I was numb by the end of each week, from busyness, heartache, loneliness, anxiety and sheer exhaustion.

The need to run was maybe the highest I’ve ever felt. It lit my nerves on fire. Wanting to leave these place, these people, this home of mine. Because it was staying. And it was hard.

I questioned most of my actions. I questioned my okayness. I questioned being a broken record. I questioned my fineness. I questioned people wanting to be around me.

And also, again, it bears repeating, I cried.

I sobbed in the office at work multiple times in the first half of the year (less the second half-not none, just less). I sobbed in front of Patty. I sobbed on the garage floor with Joanna and Patrick. I sobbed in silence on my bed more times than I want to admit. I cried tears for my aunt Ann. I sobbed in airports and in Tiffany’s car. I cried in restaurants and bars. I cried at church. I cried to Glenalyn as I walked through back roads of Bellingham. I cried at NMC after camp, regretting not buying contacts just so I could wear sunglasses.

I cried more tears than I ever have in my life.

Something in me was reacting to everything around me. Some force outside of myself was telling me to fold. To wave the white flag.

And sometimes I did. If I’m being honest, sometimes I didn’t show up when I knew I needed too or I left early when I just couldn’t take it. Sometimes I didn’t push through.

{and here it is folks}

BUT

There is a reason why this is a two part blog.

For every time I cried, I probably laughed.

Even it was from the absurdity of life or the horrors or that span of life in T1 where teacher Meg got off the grace train and never got back on.

For every time life tried to kick me in the face, there was a reason to celebrate, even if it was just getting through another week of ypocalypse or ya know, all the weddings and babies.

This year has been hell. It’s been pain. It’s been heartache.

But that’s not going to be my last sentence.

Part two is filed with the loveliness I wasn’t always able to see. Or I was too exhausted to talk about. Or was in the midst of planning

Part two gets the last word.

So, watch this space.

And find your own last word on the end of this chapter of your life.

Honest, washington whimsy

2017 might not be different

I normally wait till the end of the year to start processing a year gone by. But there are about 7 weeks left in 2016 and I am counting down.

This year has been brutal. Not necessarily lots of “bad” things have transpired, but every single week has been a competition for the award of the longest week. Most days have felt like battles I was unable to win
And I’m trying to figure out why. Was it me? Was I not trying? Did I not trust? Was I not kind enough? Was I not giving it my all?

I’m 31 and at some point I guess I began to believe the lie that eventually this would get easier.

But it doesn’t. (At least not in the way we think it should).

I’ve searched to find bright spots (and I have–I’ll share those another day), but those even seem to get muffled in what look like mistakes, miscommunications, burdens.

The wonderful, beautiful moments are lined in heartbreak. The dreams have a “but I’m not there yet” tagged on the end.

And, what I’ve come to realize is a new year isn’t going to change any of that.

That’s hard for me to say. To come to grips with. 
It’s not the person that I am.

I’m the one that says, “choose to believe”. I’m the person that hopes when people can’t hope for themselves. I believe when you are unable to choose that.

And I have to say:

2017 might not be different.

I distinctly remember when the year went from 2004-2005 or 2009-2010 or even 2012-2013.

I cried at midnight each of those years.

I was ready, I knew that no matter what, the year that followed would be nothing like the year that preceded it.

Depression, death, heartbreak.

But now, I’m 31 and I’ve experienced all those things more than I care to admit.

So, here’s what I’ve concluded.

2017 might not be different. 

It might have depression, heartbreak, death. It will probably have more than a handful of long weeks. It will have tears, anger, sleepless nights. The things that are lovely and joyful might be tinged with heartache.

2017 might not be different.

But I have to choose to be.

I have to choose to believe that I am a more whole person than I was when the year moved from 2015 to 2016. I have to remember that I care less what people think about me and more if they feel loved. 

(And I dare say, that maybe I am funnier than I was in 2015.)

I’ll share more as this year rounds out, more victories in the midst of feeling unsuccessful. More lessons, more moments that brought me to tears with laughter. This has been my year of honesty in writing and I will keep bringing that to the table.

Because 2017 might not be different.

But I will be.