In so many ways, 2016 was a dumpster fire of a year. I feel like half of my childhood died this year and don't get me started on the election and the ramifications of electing a dangerous and ignorant man who may or may not sell us to the Russians. It seems like so many people are hurting, struggling, in pain for so many different reasons. My personality is such that I absorb all the negative emotions and add them to my own plentiful supply. It has been a hard year for that, particularly the last 6 weeks.
But there have been so many happy moments as well. Moments when I surprised myself with what I was able to do. I took a burlesque class and performed in front of people. I took Madeline on several trips, just the two of us. We did a pinup shoot and a tintype one as well. I saw a bunch of Broadway shows and concerts that made my heart happy. We have new people in our life that care about us. Madeline loves her new school. I got to tour Paisley Park and walk where Prince walked. I went on my first date in 17 years. I did a solo trip around Colorado. I dyed my hair red. I went into therapy again to work on becoming the me I'm meant to be.
I look at that list and know I should give myself credit for doing all that. But I know I could have done more, been more. But I am paralyzed by fear. Fear of what people think, being laughed at, feeling the fool. So instead of doing something I want to do, I do nothing. Frozen by fear. Sometimes the sheer number of choices possible to me is overwhelming. When you are used to being defined by your connection to other people, trying to redefine and know who you are is a skill one has to relearn.
I have not achieved all of what I was hoping I would in 2016. I feel like I stalled on personal growth and am disappointed. I know beating up on myself serves no purpose, but there has been a fair amount of that this year. Feeling I should be more, over more, healed more. I can objectively see progress, but I feel it isn't enough. I'm impatient, wanting my new life now. I am working with my therapist on a bunch of garbage that is painful, sad and hurtful. And it has been so hard and made my emotions boomerang all over the place. But Aurora, my therapist, tells me this all means I'm on the right track. That the sludge has to be gotten through in order for the dam to burst. There is no time table and it will happen in good time. I am ready for my life to burst open.
I have no idea what to expect from 2017. It is all so up in the air right now. Madeline and I are headed to NYC over spring break and I would really like to do another big trip in the summer or fall. Travelling as much as I can is one of my goals for 2017. I have goals for 2017, but no resolutions. I do have a word for 2017, one that I am concentrating on. It is "brave". So many things in my life that I am not doing comes down to me finding the bravery within. I have to defeat the fear. It has run the show for far too long.
To 2017 - my year of living bravely.