A year ago, I sat on my couch and snapped a picture of me with a coy smile. I remember thinking to myself, this is my year.
I had no idea what was coming. Six weeks later, my life completely changed. A lot of it was my doing — I made a significant choice and the fallout was immediate and severe. I was just barely be over the shock of September when Russ lost his job. Our fall consisted of beans and rice, more than our fair share of tears, relying on our people, and lots and lots of prayer.
It wasn't that 32 was horrible. It was, however, a crucible — the fever before the breakthrough.
Earlier this morning, I sat in my office and thought about what I wanted to feel this year. It's easy to chase goals, but I'm learning to chase experiences — to reach for those moments that take my breath away. As I was writing, I kept thinking back to things that happened this year, often right in the midst of the darkest days, and I would find myself smiling.
It reminded me of something I wrote back in December, about how ready I am for a new beginning and that sometimes, it's not because the year was so difficult or horrible but because I lived it to its fullest: all of the pain, all of the beauty, all of the wonder.
This was my 32.
books read ::
Yes, Please — I mean, it's Leslie Knope. But outside of me wanting to scream all of the things because of my love for her, I also so appreciate the reminder that it's the doing of the thing that counts. When I listened to this and heard those words I just about had a spiritual experience. Amy Poehler, I love you forever amen.
Conversion — Label anything as Prep meets The Crucible and I'm here for it. This book didn't disappoint. I read it in one sitting and then promptly had a moment of blind jealousy because WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THIS IDEA?! Mad props, Katherine Howe.
When the Heart Waits — I read this book in one sitting as well. There are few books in my life where I felt as if the author crawled into my brain and wrote about my life. This is one of them. I will be re-reading this every year at least once I'm sure.
I'll Give You the Sun — There are no words for this one. I read it back in March and I'm still trying to articulate what it did to me. Just get it. Trust me.
books wrote ::
I finished Somewhere Between Water and Sky last summer, publishing it September 20.
In November, I started writing Secrets Don't Keep and I am so excited about it going live in a couple weeks. I claimed this year as my #novelistwild and even though I haven't started on my second novel of this series, I did complete a 90 page eBook on indie publishing and started the memoir that's been in my gut for the past five years.
But that whole story is another blog post.
for the love of poetry ::
do not choose the lesser life.
do you hear me.
do you hear me.
choose the life that is. yours.
the life that is seducing your lungs.
that is dripping down your chin.
- nayyirah waheed
If I had to choose one series from this past year that made me praise hands all day, it would be American Horror Story: Coven.
But also, Broad City and Scandal and Pretty Little Liars and Parks and Rec, respectively.
How does one categorize a year into music? It's almost as impossible as choosing favorite books. But, LION BABE has been a favorite along with this playlist for Secrets Don't Keep.
on beauty ::
32 was definitely the year I began to understand my own style. Purple hair and lace, bohemian with a touch of grit.
everything else ::
- Flash mob dance parties to SHAKE IT OFF in my living room
- Second chance proms
- Releasing toxicity
- Growing lavender
- Harnessing my intuition
- Watching Barton Springs-turned-Rapids while tornados formed around us
- Investing (and taking the leap) with My Own Irresistible Brand
- Working with 90+ women in finishing their books
- Deciding to go strictly indie with my books
- Sharing #thekeyofus on Instagram
- EVERY SHATTERED THING in top 100 free books on Amazon (4500+ downloads in a week!)
- Getting my WILD Giving Key with a lion engraved on the back
- Watching Russ risk and dream and pursue his passion
- Giving our first no in the adoption process
- Going back to work full time
I'm past the point where I feel as if I need to wonder what 33 will bring. Maybe that's maturity? In so many ways, my life doesn't look anything like I expected it to this time last year, but for the first time, this isn't disappointing. Even after everything that's happened, I know I'm right where I'm supposed to be in this moment.
And this makes me more than ready for 33.