5 Things I Learned in 2014:
1 - It's okay to vocalize problems that other people's decisions create in your life. Even if they are excellent decisions which you completely understand and would otherwise approve of, it's still okay to say, “This choice you're making, while probably good in itself, has annoying/awful consequences for my own life. FYI. ”
2 - Evangelical purity culture. The damage done to myself and to others who grew up in this “culture” is real. This is part of my story, although I am fortunate in having experienced less shame through this than some people I have talked to about it.
3 - When I feel overwhelmed, I remind myself that life isn't merely a never-ending cycle of tasks; rather, there is always more to do because there are always new adventures waiting!
4 - I tend to shut down my own vulnerability when confronted with a friend in need, as if pretending I myself have no needs will somehow enable to me to help them more.
5 - Discomfort is a natural by-product of being in relationship with people different from yourself (which is just about everyone). It's something to lean into and live with, to accept without judgment rather than try to eradicate; it's part of learning to love, part of growing along with others and into one's self before God.
5 Things from 2014 that I am Grateful For:
1 - My husband, who is responsible for at least two of those things I learned in 2014; whose optimism feeds my joy in life; whose thoughtfulness keeps my mind and soul wide awake; whose belief encourages me to try new things; whose love has made me understand that failing is a chance for a new start.
2 - Friends, both old and new, both far away and nearby, and their patience as they witness my attempts to stretch myself in everyday life.
3 - Moving back home after the fire and 19 months of displacement! We were fortunate even in our time away (*waves to temporary roomies*), but I am so, so happy to have a place of our own again. I've discovered that even if I'm exhausted after work, I now love coming home and making dinner. It's a deep sort of contentment.
4 - Being confirmed in the Episcopal Church this past Easter. I've realized how much I love being at a place where those who fell through the cracks elsewhere find God again. I feel like I belong here at St. Thomas the Apostle Hollywood.
5 - Amazing books I discovered this year, from The Red Tent and Possession: A Romance to Erica Smith's The Waters of Time series, Lois McMaster Bujold's The Sharing Knife quartet and Tony Hillerman's Navajo detective novels.
5 Goals I Have for 2015:
1 - Write either two more TV specs, or write one spec and develop a pilot idea I have.
2 - Network more as a writer, probably through Stage 32 among other groups.
3 - Ride my new bike all over the city!
4 - Take either a dance class or a painting class.
5 - Get my first tattoo (which I've been considering/planning for a couple of years now).
5 Things I Hope to Practice in 2015:
1 - Vulnerability, in appropriate amounts with people who want to listen.
2 - Speaking about things I believe need to be heard and standing up for what I believe is right, no matter who does or doesn't agree with me.
3 - Romance. My husband brings out this side of me, and I want to give it more reign.
4 - Sisterhood: connection and friendship and support with other women. I want to reclaim my contribution as the woman I am, not what I think others might want from me.
5 - Meditation and contemplation, spiritual disciplines that give my soul space to grow, to connect with God, to become more centered in myself and more ready to live boldly in the world around me.
May each of you dare to dream this year, dare to be brave, dare to rest, dare to make mistakes and to try new things and to tell someone you love them. May you, and me, and all of us live a little more in 2015.