Saturday, January 2, 2016

Word for 2016

I love and don't love choosing my word for the year. Last year my word was "FUN" and I think I had it although I also think I forgot that was my word about halfway through and thought my word was "BOGGED DOWN" or "OVERWHELMED" or "SAD" but whatever.

I did have a pretty sad fall and winter- there are things in the air that are slow motion falling into place and there are things I'm waiting for and dammit sometimes I just want to know how it's going to turn out. I get almost forty-five and impatient and feel like I'm running out of time which I know is irrational but that's how I am sometimes- concerned about imaginary or inevitable things. Plus I'm so excited and happy about some stuff that I want it to be right now

I was considering these other words...

2. community
3. how
4. enough
5. practice

...and I still like all of them. Is it fair to have five words for the year? Totally fair. 

I have been doing so much thinking about keeping my life safe and small and then I listened to a TED talk Brené Brown did about shame and in the first part she talks about her other TED talk about vulnerability and how in it she said she had a breakdown and that a few hundred people might know she said that because it was going on YouTube and she wanted to stop it from being there. And then four million people saw it instead of a few hundred. She said this:

"... I learned something hard about myself, and that was that, as much as I would be frustrated about not being able to get my work out to the world, there was a part of me that was working very hard to engineer staying small, staying right under the radar. "

and it was a good thing I was laying down since sometimes when the universe says exactly what I'm thinking back to me and I am purely amazed for just that moment it takes me to get it, really get it. Then I'm all of course! and it's like the truth that's always been.

I have been started, but stopped. I made it to a place in my life where I am not drinking finally finally finally and I've been baby stepping my way to where I am now. Which is fine except it isn't fine all the time. Here I am, path wide ahead and I'm leaning down to tie my shoes again instead of taking off. I too have been engineering my life to stay comfortable and small and I think my frustration these past few months comes from that. I thought it was from things getting too big, but my bad.

One of my favorite things about sobriety is the way that I think my way through things in a thought full not too hurried way. I put on headphones and suddenly remember the Legends of the Fall soundtrack, and I remember to pick up my Morning Pages again because to be a writer you have to write. There are so many ideas I've had that don't stay or stick, and then there are the ones that come back over and over until I make peace with them and then they're me. ME.

And so now, here, waiting to start- I start again. This year I take on yoga teacher training, getting more serious about my writing, being a vegetarian for the first six months to honor the Yama of Ahimsa, tweaking my schedule to make the important to me things fit, and spiritual stuff, service stuff. These aren't resolutions but ways to try out my life until I find another thing that sticks and then that's part of me. It's so hard to put myself out there- to make connections to people, to write what's real so other people can see, to not be the total introvert I am and stay home and not go out at all. It's me: end of the diving board shivering and afraid, holding my breath waiting to jump. It's me too down in the water arms out yelling "You can do it! Don't be afraid!" up to my scared little self rocking from foot to foot.

But then there's another me- the me that's gained such confidence from showing up sober every single day of these last three years. That me's standing at the side of the pool, a smile playing at the corners of my lips because I know I'm going to do it, I know I'm going to jump. That me knows all the can do yelling and drama can't compete with that little feeling that grows inside when I remember that I can trust myself to not hurt myself anymore, that I care for myself with reverence and honor and love. Onward says that me. I listen. I jump. The air is fine, falling is better, the water encloses me. I surface and lock eyes with the me standing at the side of the pool. Onward I mouth back. And onward I go.



  1. Beautiful should be your word for 2016 because that last paragraph is pure poetry. Don't you love New Years, there we are with all of our cynicism that anything will be different this year but still our hope rises and we make plans, and dream and promise ourselves so many things. BTW, I was just sitting here thinking, "I need to get back to my Morning Pages." I can truly say that sometimes the things that come out on those pieces of paper astonish and scare me. So let's get back to it, girlfriend! Shall we? Love you!

    1. I've been back at my morning pages for 5 days now and I swear, it has made such a huge difference! I set my alarm and put my pen to paper and write whatever I think and it makes me free for the rest of the day. I'm scared of some of the things I think too- but we can face fear. Because we are amazing. :) Much love to you my dear friend! Thank you so much for being a constant in my life. xxxooo

  2. This is spot on for me. I get frustrated when I try new things and they don't stick. Especially when they are good & healthy. I love "Onward". Just beautiful. Lori

    1. It's kind of like, stop thinking about how you don't want to or didn't keep going and just keep going. :) Thank you! :)

  3. Happy new year, Amy. Love this. <3

  4. smiling while reading this, your words streaming like sunshine. thank you.

    1. Thank you! I miss our emails :) Onward! (To send you an email!) xoxo

  5. Hi Amy!
    I found you!
    Three years sober is wonderful!
    Onward is a wonderful word, that is full of hope!