I don’t want to say that 2017 was difficult. I don’t like the word difficult. At least not in this context. I’d rather say that 2017 was challenging. The word “difficult” brings a negative connotation. While the word, “challenging” — well, maybe it implies more power or strength. What do you think?

The word “challenge” also suggests more a puzzle or a test. Something that’s put in front of you to try to overcome, win, or pass. Difficult, well, it just feels more punishing. And I don’t think 2017 was a punishment. Not by any means. I just think it was another challenge put in front of me. Especially or more specifically towards the end there. A test for me to pass… and inevitably grow from.

I hope so anyway.

I don’t necessarily think I won a specific gain from 2017. But maybe a more general gain of knowledge. I learned that tough challenging times are not as hard on me as they once were or could have been. Challenging moments are easier than ever before for me to emotionally overcome.

As I look around me, I don’t think I’ll necessarily float through 2018. But I know that I am truly living, feeling, and breathing through this very moment and with practice, through the rest of the year. I know I can and will get through all the harder moments ahead of me and truly embrace the good. And I guess that is all I can really ask for in this forever changing, sometimes challenging, and totally worth living (and celebrating and being amazed and grateful for every day) existence.

This morning, the first day of 2018: I’m not waking up in my new home, the home we planned to be in. I’m not walking through the town of Antigua Guatemala, roaming colorful and busy streets, hung over from firework pollution like I thought I would be. I’m in my childhood home, the morning after my first period since my miscarriage, sitting next to my ill and tired dog. And other than a few travel plans, I have no real idea of where I’ll be in six months or a year. I have no material plan in front of me for this year except to embrace every moment of true living that I can. The good and the bad challenging.

This isn’t where I planned to be. Not even close. Honestly, I would have scoffed if you had told me that I would be spending my New Years like this… the first New Years Alex has ever had off since our time together. I would think: There’s no way. It’s impossible. Yet here I am. Nothing is impossible. I feel like a broken record, but that’s life. And all those twists and turns are what brought me here… in albeit, a slight chaos, but also emotionally stable through the external  disorder.

For 2018, the focus is on my family.

As I was falling asleep last night, I was trying to remember what 2017 looked like for me. Year after year, I’ve thought, “gosh, where did the year go?” but not this last year. Not 2017. I didn’t feel that. Looking back, it felt well paced, long, and full. Going into 2017, I didn’t know what my family would look like. Alex and I had hit a rough patch a few months before last years new year. But somewhere in the travel chaos of 2017, we worked it out and made it through better than we ever had before. Without much effort, 2017 brought us closer. And the trials we faced together at the end? Well, this is it. I think we finally feel more settled with each other and our life together than we ever have before.

This year the focus is on us. Alex and I, but also, the three of us. There will not be a fourth, and that’s okay. I have so much in the two of them. And I’m grateful to be able to push forward all my effort into health and happiness with and in them. We’ll be on the road /air at a minimum of six months this year. And when we do finally make our way back to our physical home, we’ve agreed, we’re ready to nest. Not for a baby, but for ourselves. We’re looking forward to eventually landing somewhere and making home again. After all, making home was part of what brought Alex and I together. We’re both good at it. And while, we’re both okay with a bit of external disorder right now, we’d like to eventually settle and nest again. Well… at least until my urge to flee and travel strikes again. Since deep down, we all know, that part of me will never die.

A tiny piece of that means, more photos and more memories. Scrolling through hundreds (maybe even thousands) of the photos I took during our move to Guatemala, I have ONE of the three of us in Guatemala. One blurry photo of us, disheveled and dirty before a steep climb to secluded Mayan village. I can scroll through hundreds and hundreds of photos and wish I had more of US. So I guess that’s my biggest physical resolution for 2018. Not only a  focus on us, but to push aside the laziness and really dive full in to better documenting the people I love (and the things we love too).

I’ve spent everyday (or at least few days of every week) publicly writing for the last 17 years of my life. And I can do that for at least another 17 more. I know I said this before, but I’ll say it again: now that my health is improving (or has improved) once again, I’d like to step forward and move past the lazy “where I do even start?” mentality and invest more in this space. To be honest, I’m not really sure what that exactly means yet. I know it means not just documenting, but also: creating with them. Food, exploring, traveling, nesting (when we can), and more. What excuse do I have to not do the things I love, document the people I love, and create tangible knowledge of the things I want share? I have none. Even if it’s seemingly too simple, in someway it something emotionally difficult challenging for me. This year I stop being my own crutch, I stop over thinking, and I just move forward with an un-judged passion for the things I love. And I do it intentionally, with gratitude, and most importantly: with the people I love.

Thank you guys for taking part in my life. Thank you endlessly for being by my side through my own challenges and small victories. No matter where you are now (emotionally or physically, in joy or in pain), I hope this year is better than the last for you.

With a deep gratitude,

1 Comment

  1. Man this resonates. I do the one little word thing each year and this year I chose heart because I want to focus more on the people and the things that I love, putting my whole heart into it all. Thanks so much for continuing to write.