Year 21 of my life is over. Last night, I had my people over and we celebrated in my favorite kind of way. With pork tacos and cabbage slaw and guacamole and lots of cilantro. With a yummy grapefruit gin drink. With a homemade cake. By semi-impromptu going to get my nose pierced and playing Loaded Questions. It was the best.
And today I woke up feeling great. Feeling loved and known and celebrated. I felt more alive and ready to take on the world. This past year I grew as a person the most I think I have in any single year. My career and calling became so much more close. I began following the news and understanding more of what happens in my country and the world. I realized the injustices that happen and have learned ways I want to stand up for the oppressed. I better understand my social beliefs, but still have many questions, and that’s a good thing.
One of the things I know for sure is I know God more today than I did a year ago. I slowly saw how shame and fear and anxiety had a hold on my life and how it was had a kind of power over me I wasn’t comfortable with. I learned to dig into the scriptures and find out what the Truth says. I resisted what I knew was best and was hurt by thinking I was the best god for me. But, then I got to see more clearly God’s faithful, steadfast heart for me as he called me back. I grew in my comfort in talking about spiritual things, about asking questions I didn’t know the answers to, about asking how I could pray for other people. I started memorizing scripture intentionally and saw how those words would come to my mind right when I needed them. I have been slowing learning that God can handle my real, raw feelings. That I hurt myself when I think I need to or try to hold them all in. I am learning that those feelings can draw me to him rather than push me away – that’s something I want to keep learning in 22. I learned how to rely on God’s character over my behavior as Truth of who I am. I saw my need to grow in knowledge of who he is.
This year was my fullest with people. I ate so many meals with people. I sat on the porch swing of 402 and grilled out. I had Abby over lots and lots. I made pancakes and waffles to welcome in the weekend. I went and explored new restaurants. I made a church my home for 10 weeks. I engaged with new people in a new, maybe awkward way. I learned that I can and should take up space. I can make my presence, my ideas, my preferences, thoughts, dreams, feelings known. No one can tell me they are wrong, but I can welcome their thoughts on how they should materialize in real life. It is okay to live a life that offends some people, but I need to always assume the best of others.
And self-care. That was a big one. Rest. Sabbath. Buying a face mask and doing it every week. Doing yoga. Listening to my body in regards to what I want to eat or drink or how I want to move. Also still learning this one, but the good seasons taught me that this is really, really good and really, really needed.
I know I am still young and have lots of life ahead and will face much harder things than what this year brought. But in reading journal entries from this year along, I see that life is just cycles. Things end. And if I’m grounded, they will still be hard and still be real but they won’t shake me off of foundation I am built on.
You were good 21.