Here we are the close of another year. I'm thankful. Every year I have a chance to see and complete is a blessing. The older I am, the more I realize how much of a privilege it is to start and close another year.
I won't try and make this extra long or deep. No need. Reaching a point of gratitude and simplicity has ended up creating a need to say less. want to do more.... I want to say less. I want my actions and my work to speak on my behalf. Not that words aren't important. They have their place. I'm a writer -- words are necessary. They don't replace taking action. They don't make up for what doesn't get accomplished.
What I Don't Know...
Most days, I pretty much feel like I don't know shit. I know a few things. Some days the pieces come together. It's come to my attention the more I learn, the less I know. Beliefs are overturned at times. Ways I thought things should be done are expanded. My heart opens a bit more while still being broken and I'm surprised at how my views contract on some things and expand on others. This means, I'm ever changing. I realized there's so much I don't know. I'm thankful I don't have to know it all and I can change my mind at any time.
What I Realize I Know...
God is real. Love is real. Love can fix a multitude of sins. Hard work does indeed pay off. Working on behalf of yourself is always a good idea. It's important to assist and serve people. No matter how much you want things to work out sometimes, the shit doesn't work. We (read I) can survive when shit doesn't work out. Writing a book is hard. Putting a book together in its final stages is hard (well worth it but hard). I enjoy being home way more than I should especially when I need to be out for work and to take photos. I have a terrible potty mouth and don't plan to make any changes to it. I'm happy to be where I am in life. I like myself. It's ok to have days when I'm unhappy. People may choose not to stay and it's ok. I like planting things. I still love to cook. I can take on something I know absolutely nothing about, work hard and sometimes I win and other times I don't.
What I Learned...
[wash rinse repeat of what I know - see above]
Really - more than I expected. In taking a new job this year, I now know how hard I CAN work and the hours I CAN put in.... that I can actually get up at 3 or 4 in the morning to be somewhere. The job has helped me hone the art of being meticulous. This means everything. It's prepped me and taught me I have the fortitude and stamina to get the things on my personal list done. In fact, the hours and work alone fuel me to get all of my OWN projects completed.
I've learned there's a whole process to being able to move past things I want and won't get - or at least not get them in the way I was thinking. Sometimes this means a matter of coping, other times this means a matter of understanding something may not have been for me. I've realized photography saves me in ways I didn't know it would. It's helped me to see things differently in and outside of the craft. I tend to be the girl who believes I'm blessed to have a glass half full, I'm excited I have a glass...photography makes me want to capture everything I see that needs to be remembered. A person, a moment, a place. It's also helped me be present in the moment. A photograph is a snapshot of a moment I'll never have again. It's unique in that no one can take the same photo again.
I've learned when things are done in pure love, with passion you have no choice but to succeed at some point. Just gotta hang in there.
One other important thing the year brought to me is the need to speak up for and stand up for myself. To be fine with the idea that some days, I may need to say things and discuss things and bring truth to light - even when it's not comfortable for others. The art of opening my mouth and having courage to deal with whatever comes.
I've learned to care less of what others think. This doesn't mean I don't care. It means there's a time and a place for it. It means there will be times no one agrees and it's just fine. It means those who do care, I check in with them and they'll still respect me when I go a different direction. It means I'm most worried about impressing myself (and God).
I've learned my so called fucks to give have been absolutely reallocated to myself and a few others. There comes a time when you need to choose to save yourself.
I've also learned in real time, the old saying "Hit dogs holler" is the absolute truth.
“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” ~ Zora Neale Hurston
I think to this quote every year as it turns - was this a year that answered questions or a year that asked them? There's another series of lessons I'll save for another date, for another time. This year was without a doubt a year that answered questions. A year that solidified who I am and who I want to be. There were questions that had been pending for years. There were feelings that had not been resolved. This year? Foundations were laid, resolutions were had - even if I had to resolve some things wouldn't be resolved.
I can be nothing but thankful.
May your remaining days of 2015 be amazing, bring clarity and love. Here's to 2016 being a year of building, of progress, of restoration, harvesting and planting.