The year 2018 was a complicated mix of the best and worst of my life. Creatively, I could not have asked for a better experience. I’ve written and photographed, styled and put together, painted and hot glued, and created and curated to my heart’s content.
But to my heart’s discontent, and very nearly my heart’s breaking, 2018 hurt me in soft spots I didn’t know I had. It caused pain I didn’t know existed and it took an innocence from me that I’m not sure I can ever get back.
But all you can do is try to turn the soul crushing into soul searching. What was this year?
It was finishing my first year as a mother of two, celebrating Jack’s 1st birthday in TCK fashion.
It was Matthew’s Morocco trip that prepared me for my summer alone with the kids. It was the blessing of time with my Mom and Dad.
It was recommitting to the faith of my youth and young adulthood, combining the power of gospel principles and motherhood for probably the first time. It was slowly making changes about myself that I’ve always wanted but never felt empowered to do.
That’s the complicated mix. How did a year that exposed my weaknesses also leave me feeling so empowered?
Feeling empowered to do what’s in your mind’s eye is a slow process. I didn’t even realize it was happening. I think about how I’ve always wanted more skills and I don’t think I set out with that goal in mind but I can do so much more now than I could at the end of 2017. My photography skills are slowly improving; I die of delight any time someone asks me to do their important photos. My craft and DIY skills are, well, still not great but I’m learning and less afraid to try new things. I feel like I can rely on myself more than I used to. I trust myself to do, or at the very least try, the ideas that are always growing in the gardens of my mind. I used to have wishes and now I have plans.
2018 was one of the hardest years of my life. And I grew more than I expected, more than I knew was possible and I know that isn’t a coincidence. Pain is the price of growth and though the cost was especially high this past year, nothing happened that I couldn’t survive. And if you can’t have it easy, knowing you’re tough enough to have it hard is not a bad consolation prize.
Happy New Year, everybody.