Writing my year-end and looking-forward blog posts has been difficult this year. I love to distract myself, it seems, so the past two mornings as I’ve perched at the computer to write, I’ve instead spent hours looking at New York pictures.
It doesn’t take an adept detective to figure out I love New York. Spend more than 10 minutes with me, and I’ll probably tell you. Sit down at my desk and see the complete collection of Brandon Stanton books (“Humans of New York,” “Humans of New York Stories” and “Little Humans”) and this year’s Christmas presents “Around Washington Square” and “A Freewheelin’ Time,” which are both histories of Greenwich Village from my younger son. There’s also a New York map book ready to be referenced, and tomorrow or Tuesday, there will be a handmade New York skyline ring on my thumb, a gift from my husband. A New York keychain dangles from the rearview mirror in my car, and a panoramic view of NYC hangs on the office wall.
I also love to run, even though I’m not great at it, so I’ve spent time thinking about how to fit it into my hectic life and pondering whether or not to attempt a mini-marathon, despite being horribly out of shape. I’m excited to try new running shoes from my older son and the wireless earbuds from my husband. I’m fortunate enough to share my life with three people who really get me: They gave me New York and running for Christmas.
The days leading up to New Year’s were dreary and gloomy, but here it is the third day of the year, and we have sunshine and blue sky encouraging us to shake off the winter funk and project positive energy into our lives.
I don’t want to dwell too much on 2015, a difficult year, but one that ended on a high note — I’m working as a full-time writer again for a great company with amazing insurance. I’m very happy with that portion of my life, especially after enduring the most gut-wrenching, anxiety-ridden influences of my former job. I learned that people are not always as they seem, nor are they truly the people they want others to see. Psychological and emotional abuse is still abuse, and not a fate to endure just to pay the bills.
Last year also ushered in a transition in my family’s life with Mom’s illness. We take people for granted. We presume they will always be there and they’re invincible. We forget they’re human. For more on that, see my blog entry titled: The joke’s on me, and it isn’t funny.
In the past 12 months, I’ve watched many ups and downs with my children, which makes me even more determined to write a book for parents of adult children, i.e., how to find a place in their lives, what to do with yourself now that they’re grown. I want to call it “The Nest Makeover.” We will see how that pans out this year.
In 2015, I celebrated 27 years by the side of my incredible husband, who is the love of my life, my partner, and, pardon the cliche, the person who truly completes me. I am so deeply in love with him that it’s frightening at times, but I know he’s the one person on the planet who knows me better than I know myself, and he loves me anyway. I have enjoyed watching him grow as an artist this past year, and I’m so grateful that he is on this journey with me.
I took a bold step in my personal creative life. I have spent the past 10 months in a master’s New Media Journalism program and launched the Ordinary Hoosiers project to highlight the extraordinary stories of “ordinary” people.
I had some discouragement on the creative front, because I never heard back from readers and editors about my two novels, but I realize that I can’t put my writing confidence in one basket. I finally grasp that I may not be a novelist, despite struggling to make it reality. I am at peace with that.
What I can do, however, is speak honestly and frankly in my writing and have others connect with my thoughts and feel emotion. I also can move forward with confidence that my video stories are powerful.
Maybe I’m not a novelist. Maybe I’m an author of nonfiction. Maybe I’m a journalist.
One of my favorite quotes is by Maya Angelou: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” I have many. In 2016, I plan to lessen the agony and give birth to some of those untold stories.
I want to start teaching again, because I feel alive sharing with other people and seeing that look in their eyes as they achieve their own dreams. The ball is rolling on that one, and I hope to start in March after my master’s program is fulfilled.
In the midst of all this, I’m going back to New York sometime this year, because it is there that I am alive.
I know this has been a random stream of consciousness, and I thank you for sticking out until the end. Let me leave you with one more quote from Maya Angelou, and let it be our mantra for the coming year:
“Love life. Engage in it. Give it all you’ve got. Love it with a passion because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it.”
Let’s live this life together, with a passion that takes our breath away, never looking back at the past, except to learn and propel forward. Let’s find ourselves in a place of dream fulfillment when we meet here in 2017.