The Year in Review – A Positive Reflection on 2014

My bestie Carly and I decided to do a little “round up” of our own on all the positive things that have happened or benefitted us this past year. We have a renewed interest in positivity heading forward into the New Year, so we decided we should end our last year on a good note. You can find Carly’s post here.

2014 has been one of the most challenging and transformational of my life. Mindsets and ways of being have shifted and continue to shift. Beginning with my quarter life crisis in March, and lasting all the way until December, my life has been in utter upheaval this year. It’s as if the Universe decided I needed an overhaul.

Or perhaps I decided it… I was the one to take one small step to be more powerful in my life, to embrace it with an open heart. Considering that my word for the year was audacity… Yeah.

There were a few things that kept me going this year that I want to share here, as an offering of gratitude to them and how they moved me through.

Andrea Gibson – The Nutritionist
This poem saved my LIFE in April/May/June. There was a period of time where I literally listened to it daily just to have the strength to go to work. I would put it on in the morning before work, shed a few tears, buck up, and leave. I have no idea what I would have done without it.

Sayulita Trip
This trip that I took alone was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. If I could afford it, I’d take a trip alone every year. This one was a massive reset button on my life. It was also gloriously beautiful and I had the chance to just take it all in and enjoy. That, despite getting sunburned so bad on my chest that I blistered. Yikes! Haha. The little things just didn’t seem to matter anymore; I was the most myself I’ve ever been on this trip, and it was glorious. It’s been a hallmark of my year.

RootEd Yoga Teacher Training
I have no idea what I would have done this year without this amazing, vibrant, vulnerable community around me. I have learned so much about what it means to be rooted in myself, and what it means to relate to others. I have never plugged into a community so much in my life, in a true way, in a consistent way. It’s weird, but good. Plus, I am finding that I truly love Yoga in all aspects. It’s always drawn me, but there’s a greater draw now.

My first date with Kevin.
We ran around town looking for hammocks. We ordered the same meal at Ivywild. We ended the night with The Fountain and some kissing and stuff. 😉 It was one of the most glorious, synchronous nights of my year.

Kevin, in general
To be truthful, Kevin has been far more gracious to me than I feel like I deserve (he disagrees). He has been an absolute rock to me. I have been a stormy ocean of a girl at times and he has been the levy that I come up against but it holds me in, in the sweetest of ways. I’m so grateful for who he has been in my life thus far.

Visiting my bestie, Carly.
It wasn’t for the greatest reasons, but getting to see my best friend FO LYFE Carly (the one I linked up with on this post!) in July was a huge highlight of my year. Much singing of Chandelier, conversations until all hours of the morning… it was fantastic.

Spoken Word Poetry
This was the year I’ve really gotten into spoken word. And holy mother of pearl guys. That stuff has changed my life. I walked into an event and immediately felt at home, like these were my people. Their vulnerability encouraged me to become a more vulnerable person.

 

These are just a few things that have influenced me this year. I know there are many, many others that I am forgetting. But in the wake of all the transformation I have experienced, these things have kept me going. These have been the core things that have provided the inspiration I’ve needed to keep going this year, and I’m so grateful that they appeared in my life as they did.

Here’s to you, 2014! I can’t say I’m sad to leave you, but I do leave with a deep bow to all you have brought me.

As for 2015… I have a new word for this coming year.

I don’t make resolutions, I think that’s silly. I have some ideals. But this word is one I want to be a guiding light.

Savor.

I want to take in all the moments. I want to see the holiness. I want to never, ever forget the purity of the present. And I want to CHOOSE to enjoy it. Enjoy it all. This word for me is about truly enjoying. I feel that up to this point in my life I have enjoy, full body enjoyed, very little. So for this year, that’s what I’m setting as my intention.

To full-body savor the experience.

Welcome, 2015.

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So here’s the dealio, Stealio… aka the New Year’s/Year End post

[Disclaimer: the second half of this post includes GIFs!!!!]

I don’t choose words for the year. Okay. Well sometimes I do. But the last time that happened was in 2007 and my word was “hope.” Interesting word for a year that was the worst of my life. I suppose it was fitting because I needed hope like a lifeline by December 31.

I love words though. Two words dropped down from the heavens like shooting stars last night. Right before bedtime, of course. I had to run and grab my journal to mark the first one down before I forgot. Audacity. Audacity is, in my opinion, entirely overused. But it’s still charming. Because the connotation makes it a little more jaw-dropping than brazen. Yet it doesn’t have quite the scandalous ring that brazen does. Brazen just sounds like a woman’s eyes in the red light district. Audacity sounds more like the unexpected. What happens when an old woman drives a 60’s red convertible mustang at over 100 mph down a country dirt road screaming, “WOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOO!!!”

Yeah. That’s audacity.

The other word was querulous. I just now had to look this one up in the dictionary to get the meaning. What I love about it is how it sounds (I most certainly will NOT be picking this one for my word of the year). Que-ruuu-lussss. Snotty in the extreme. The meaning gives me a picture of the elderly grandmother in Anne of Avonlea the movie. (Or Anne of Windy Poplars, if you’ve read the books) She was querulous.

I may love words, but I’m not sure I want to pick a word for the year. It’s a bit damning. Even though I really, really love audacity right now and it may just become my word of the year through osmosis. (Because I am stubborn and will not pick it) So you might see audacity returning throughout 2014. I have some ideas for that word.

Speaking of ideas… one thing I would like to do in 2014 is to make this little blog a little more official. A redesign and my OWN DOMAIN. Yikes. That’s a little scary. And also where I might be thinking about using audacity. I really want to push forward with my writing and see if I can make anything of it. If yes, cool. If not, no harm no fowl. Thankfully, domain names are only about $15 a pop for the year. Could be a nice experiment.

As for 2013… it’s been quite an interesting year. I was writing out some highlights yesterday, and since I’ve been recently obsessed with/crushing on reading Aussa Loren’s new blog, what I wrote all came out as sarcasm. 😀 That is not this version since I left that version at home, safe in my Mac which is probably being warmed by my kitty as I type. Plenty of sarcasm is still dead ahead, though. Also, lots of Happy Endings memes, since I don’t have cable and can’t watch the marathon tomorrow (Fail. Epic. Fail.).

My life has been extraordinarily adventurous this year (and always, but who is counting).

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First off, my neighbors were crazier than yours. From the schizophrenic crazy woman who talked in a deep male sailor voice to herself…


(like this, but slightly younger. Everything else is accurate)

…to the psycho whose favorite pastime was shootouts with the police…


(pew pew pew!!)

And yes the twain were friends. It was an unlikely pairing: old schizophrenic witch woman and young, sunglasses-bedecked (AKA tweaking) male… but they both talked to themselves so in the end, they probably had great conversations.

After the shootout incident, I also wore THIS perfume

For like a week straight. I AM TITANIUM, BITCHES!

I was surrounded by insanity this year. And the burning of copious amounts of sage. Especially around the back wall of my bedroom, which I, ironically (not so ironically?) shared with crazy shootout guy.

The other weird thing that happened this year was that on December 9th, the anniversary of my sister’s deaths, I had to get stitches. I was rolling out of bed TO PRAY and hit my head on my nightstand/garden table (that has metal edges).

 

But on to other, more epic things from this year:

Marked one year of sobriety in the back of a hippie van singing beautiful music. It was spontaneous and amazing. I still feel sparkled with stardust at this moment and it happened 7 months ago. 🙂 Best Higher Power ever, y’all.

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Started EMDR therapy with the coolest therapist ever. EMDR is eye movement desensitization and reprocessing… basically it’s reprogramming your brain. So thanks to EMDR, I’m much less neurotic than earlier this year.


I think…

Also, my therapist is both sensitive and sarcastic, which quite frankly is probably the best combination in the world. I get eye rolls and sarcastic renderings of myself one minute, and the next minute he’s tearing up at my tears. The. Best.

The Bestie in June. I went to Langley, B.C. the first week of June to spend some long-awaited time with my bestie of almost 20 years. We laughed, we cried… we pranced around Vancouver in 50’s swag. We looked like this:

Hermione, my kitty. Who forever seals my fate as the old cat lady. But with her leading me, I go willingly into that dark night. It was love at first sight at the adoption event in June. Then stark hatred for 3 months as I came to terms with sharing my space with this… creature. Then when psycho neighbor went all Live Free or Die Hard on everyone’s ass, Hermione was my sweet salvation… if she were a hero she might look like this…

except she’s not a boy. Also, I think I should have named her Prof. Trelawney instead… if you knew her you would know why.

Graduated from COOOLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEGGEEE!!!
After 5 years of being in college for my undergrad, I finally walked across the stage. This was so big for me because in the last 5 years, all this has happened:
Got engaged and married to ex-husband
Ramped up my drinking career – the worse my marriage got the more I drank
Realized ex was not going to stop shenanigans and started going to a 12-step group for wives of sex addicts
Realized ex would not change so filed for divorce
Divorced
More drinking
More men
And THEN I got sober in May and June 2012
And moved to NC for 3 months
Then moved back
Celebrated 18 months of sobriety
Then graduated on 2 years to the day that my divorce was final.

Talk about awesome.

So what does 2014 have in store?? I think audacity is definitely going to become my word by osmosis, just looking at this year. I will be starting grad school sometime between June and September, depending on where I choose to go. Now that’s pretty audacious if you ask me. Especially if I end up leaving the state to do it.

I also want to love with more audacity. My prayer for the past 2 weeks has been to open my heart (just not literally).
I want to take on life with more audacity. Take some risks.
I want to write with audacity – no holds barred, not obsessing about mistakes and grammar. And maybe a domain name and better branding. That’s pretty audacious because it’s taken a lot of work to get the followers I have (not many) and I don’t want to lose them but…

you know… audacity.

Happy 2014 everyone!!!! may it be filled with Happy Endings for everyone!!!