Oh, 2016. You are quite a blur to me. There's a lot to be said for this year. A lot of loss, fights, strife, and discord. I could focus on those things here, but there's enough of that out in the world right now.
Of course, there are reasons to fear, to despair, and to wish to bury this year deep, deep down in the dirt. Those fears, despairs, and wishes are valid. So very valid. But, there will always be reasons for those reactions. Life serves up hardballs to us constantly.
Maybe instead, we can think about what we have overcome this year. Maybe instead, we can think about what we can do to better the world next year. Small, significant shifts truly can make a difference. I love the quote by Ronald Reagan, "We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone."
Okay, putting the preaching aside, welcome to my YEARBOOK! This is my new blog-ish place where I can write more about the haps in my own life / thoughts I have / my favorite things / basically whatever. I miss the free-flowing-ness of blogging that I had at the start of this website. So, we're bringing blogging back... YEAH.
And now, let me take a beat to just appreciate and recount what the heck happened to me this year. (Hint: it's kind of a lot.)
Sister called me at work one day and said, "I'm going to San Francisco. I need you to decide by tomorrow if you are coming with me." I made all the excuses. But money! But taking time off! But!
I decided to go, and it was beyond worth it. From scary cliffside drives, to a speakeasy bar, to a spontaneous decision to spend our last day in Napa and Sonoma, I had the grandest time.
DISNEY WORLD AKA HOME
Mama and I are the grand masters of quick, Disney trips. When I auditioned for Belle at 18, she came with me and we packed all of Disney into two days. This is how we Disney, y'all.
This year, Mama and I returned and we packed in all our favorites. I cried a little bit when we went to Animal Kingdom, where I once drove safari trucks. (Oh yes, I can spout animal facts like nobody's business.)
YOGA RETREAT IN PUERTO RICO
This year, I dove feet, head and body-first into yoga. It's teaching me with every practice how to find clarity at soul-level, and I'm in love. So, I found a yoga retreat. In Puerto Rico. Without knowing a single soul.
A studio I'd never been to in New Orleans was going to Utuado, and I knew I had to be there. I worked hard and prayed hard and wrote hard, too. I took naps and didn't feel bad about it. I hiked. I made friends. I watched the sun rise over the jungle and asked myself, "How did I get here?" And then thanked God.
I finished and published That Was the Year this year. As it turns out, writing a sequel is actually incredibly difficult. (More on that over here.) But I did it and I'm proud of it and now? There's more to write. There's one last book in this series, and then... who knows?
I said yes to a lot of things this year. Yes to a role in a new musical with people I really admire. Yes to nights watching the Bachelorette with new friends. Yes to a new apartment. Yes to a Bar Mitvah trip with my family. Yes to friends, family, fun, adventure, peace, books, familiar and new.
I'm excited for 2017. I'm appreciative for what I've learned and experienced in 2016. Let's keep going and growing. Happy New Year's to you.