I can’t believe the last time I posted was last year! <— Dad joke.
Is it really a new year if you have a blog and don’t mention the new year in an entire blog post? No. I don’t think it is.
2017 was a huge year for us in a lot of ways:
- I wrote a lot more. A lot more than I did before while getting paid for it.
- Luke came out to the world as himself, a transgender boy.
- We moved to Portland.
- Dan quit his job (entirely) at Pepsi.
- The kids started at a new school.
2017 had some really amazing spots in it. I loved the way my family rallied around us when Luke came out. I loved the way James’ teachers at Asotin worked their asses off to see him succeed. I loved moving from our small town to a large community. We got to march in the pride parade in Seattle. Pat and Lily moved and are so close to us now. We got Frida the Iggy. Danny started a job he adores. I met some people who I just love.
2017 had some really awful parts, too. My anxiety and OCD was at an all-time high. We said goodbye to friends in different ways. Trump became president and I watched as members of my beautiful family (and millions of others who share the communities of people we share) were criticized by him in various ways, many times. I cried more in 2017 than I think I ever have.
But I found people; I found my people in all of it. Some of them have been there all along, I just didn’t recognize how important they’d be to me until recently. I’m braver than I thought I was. I stepped out and trusted my gut even though it was really hard. I stood up to people who I was afraid of before and I found my voice when I needed it. I made friends with people who inspire me, people who give me hope.
I discovered that if people want to be offended, they will read into anything I write or say and make it about them and be offended, despite my disclaimers (because I’m paranoid and have anxiety that I will offend someone) that nothing is directed at anyone in particular. I’ve learned to tell my stories and truth anyway. I’ve learned more about loss and watched as friends said goodbye to parents or boyfriends or best friends. That’s the hardest. Grief is confusing and sucks and watching people you love go through it is awful.
I learned so much in 2017.
I don’t think 2018 is going to be some huge drastic transformation but I do know that the way I view situations and relationships and the pace of life has shifted. And I think that’s going to be a good thing for me.
- Arguing over the internet over anything solves nothing. Sometimes, even if you feel like if you don’t speak up you have failed, it’s better to keep quiet. There are other ways to advocate. I get sucked in by trolls and I need to not get so worked up. Facebook is out for me now.
- People won’t always empathize with me and my situation and I have to be okay with that. Everyone has something on their mind, hard things they focus on. It’s okay for not everyone to try and see my point of view. And it’s okay for me to be quietly disappointed but move on.
- Things I value and think are important may be different than what other people value and think are important and that’s okay. I might think other people are dumb for it and they might think I’m dumb for it. But we don’t share exact experiences, so that’s to be expected.
- Money doesn’t equal Happiness
- Faith is more than religion and prayers and Sunday mornings.
- The skateboard/snowboarding community is still the best community.
- Social media can shake someone. And it’s okay to unfriend someone if it’s better for your mental health. I used to be SO offended when someone unfriended me, acted like it was a personal attack. Silly. Sometimes people unfriend you because it makes their lives simpler, less cluttered, more peaceful for any reason at all. And that’s okay. It’s weird what social media can do to one’s confidence.
- Apologizing is necessary.
- Forgiving is hard, but also necessary.
- It’s never okay to be malicious.
In 2018 I will do more of what makes me happy. I will try and always be kind and generous even when it’s really, really, hard. I will raise my children to be global citizens – to care about the entire world, not just their neighborhood or their city or their culture. I’ll see more live concerts and take more classes and play more games with my kids. I’ll smile more and laugh more and try and be less self-conscious. In the past, I’ve been a friend that requires a lot of energy thanks to anxiety and ocd and probably a lot of other things – but this year I want to try and find ways to help manage all of that, things other than (and in addition to) medication.
(Oops, another disclaimer: YOU in the following is meant as a general YOU. Not to anyone specific. Hand to heart, I swear it.)
I want to apologize to anyone I’ve offended in 2017 (or before). If I ever mean to offend, I’ll make sure you know it (this is for anyone who attacks my family personally or any members of it) — so please know that if you feel like I’ve directed my anger or frustrations or criticism towards you, and you are wondering, I haven’t. I want to apologize if you’ve been someone who has felt like they’ve had to change who they are to be my friend. I never want anyone to have to change who they are because they think I’m trying to make them. I’m not that powerful or influential, and I want you to know that I don’t think that of myself. I have a loud voice but that doesn’t mean I’m always confident. I know what is right for my family, but that doesn’t mean I think it’s right for everyone. If you feel like I’ve tried to make all of this true, I apologize.
I want people to know that while I may sound or read like someone who thinks she has it all figured out, I don’t. I want people to know that I’m always willing to hear you out and I will respect what you have to say as long as it’s not malicious or racist or homophobic or transphobic or xenophobic or any of those other -ics. If it is, I’ll walk away. I’m willing to hear what you have to say and talk about things even if we don’t see eye to eye.
I love to laugh and be silly and post snap chat after snap chat and Instagram after Instagram and I’ll still do it in 2018. I love Hamilton and hip hop and Bravo and my dog and spontaneity and routine (that sounded a little oxymoronic but meh). I love capturing moments and curating spaces and while I love order I also love chaos. I love my family and I love the spirits of each of my kittens. I love Jamie’s long hair and I love Luke’s goofy smile. I love Charlotte’s sass and I love Ollie’s dancing and singing. I love Maria’s kind heart and Francesca’s spunk. I love Danny’s easy going vibe and his trust. I love writing and blogging only when I want to (and mostly just for myself) and I love finding writers that feel like they are speaking to me. I love my friends: the ones back in the valley and the ones here. The ones I’m close to and the ones who I’m not as close with. All of them have given me something I will always laugh and smile about and love. That’s a true statement.
Happy New Year! ❤