Goodbye 2018. You were much fucking harder than I expected you to be. You were an 11 year. I was expecting magic. And yes, that came too. But there were some brutal lessons in the finding of magic. That part I wasn’t expecting.
Sometimes to grow, you have to cut back dead wood. Prune the things that aren’t working. And you have to replenish yourself. I’d been starving myself of both. Danielle LaPorte talks about having a wide open heart, big fucking fence. I didn’t have a fence. I didn’t even have a line in the sand. I let everyone in. And gave them everything. 2018 taught me the value of building a fence. Of shutting the gate. Of making people earn their place at my table. Because trying to feed everyone means YOU go hungry. And some of the people at the table are actually vultures, just waiting to pick at your bones. To take advantage of your kind heart. But I’m fortified now, baby. I learned my lesson the hard way. I seem to learn all my lessons the hard way. And to make sure I didn’t leave the gate unlocked, the universe taught me my lessons brutally. I was was quietly walking away from people and things that weren’t working. But the universe made sure I wouldn’t be tempted to open the gate again. The lessons were final. And I had to look long and hard at myself in the mirror. It wasn’t just about waving goodbye to those leaving, which would have been much easier. But, in the process, I also learned to be gentler with myself. I became aware that it’s okay to not be perfect. That I’m human. That we are all here just trying to make our way as best we can. I also learned who was on my team. Who held me up while I navigated this. Who truly belonged at my table. That was the gift amongst the chaos. And I felt my own feet on the floor, holding me up. I wasn’t reaching for others, only to find nothing there. These were the ropes I held onto as my bridges burned.
I had 4 words for the year – because I can never pick just one.
TRUTH. WRITE. MAKE. RITUAL.
TRUTH was about me following what was right for me, regardless of what others were doing, thinking, believing. Knowing myself enough to know what’s was true for me, regardless of outside forces. There was a strength to it. A sureness. A knowing. An honesty. It was building an intimate relationship with myself. I hope it only gets deeper now I’ve found it.
WRITE was about finishing my book, but the realisation came that I have to grow into each chapter, each paragraph, sometimes into a single word. And that can’t be done with a time limit. With a deadline. That isn’t where authenticity resides. I needed the word write – almost like a permission slip to be a writer. To believe myself capable of doing this, even if it’s taken longer than I planned. I didn’t write as much as I wanted to. Planned to. Blog posts got deleted instead of published. The marathon typing sessions didn’t happen as I’d imagined. But I continued to write my book, one post it note at a time. Because even a single post it note is still writing.
MAKE was about making art, making videos, making things that feel good to make. I did make things. But the lesson that actually came was much deeper and more beautiful than I could’ve planned when I chose the word. It became about making things for me, not because of external forces. To not make carelessly; instead, to make things that matter. And that I can make things that no one sees. I’m so grateful that is what this word became.
RITUAL was the last word in my list of 4, and yet it became the most powerful. The most transformative. The intention was about doing things in a way that was thoughtful, deliberate. Like making a meal being a respectful, slow pleasure. Somehow, it became the building of my shrine. A combination of books, candles, oracle cards and symbology became a gift to myself I didn’t know I needed. Maybe choosing the word ritual means on some level, I did know. But I could never have predicted what it became. To see the things you are so connected to, all gathered on one little desk. In the pre-dawn, surrounded by fairy lights and glowing candles – speaking to the universe, giving thanks and asking for what I need. I became a better person because of my shrine. Stronger. Strong enough to build the fence I needed. Strong enough to chose myself first. Strong enough that others behaviour no longer dictated how I felt about myself. I learned to chose to be on my own team.
Thank you 2018. For your lessons, brutal as they were. For your growth, growth I didn’t know I was missing but was so deeply nourishing. For letting my kindreds shine in the dark when I needed them. And for teaching me I am the hero of this story.