Surrender and Release

Oh, 2015, your symphony is nearly complete and it’s been a beautiful year.

This year has given me so much to be grateful for. Friendships grew stronger this year while others fell away, leaving behind traces of experience that I carry with me. There was tragedy as well as laughter. There were celebrations of love and devotion that make me believe in magic and enchantment, something that I was quietly beginning to grow cold about.

There were books- SO MANY BOOKS and new ideas, tattooing words and ideas all over my brain and giving me new perspectives and familiar feelings of the strings being tugged on my heart.

belle book

There was music, art, and theatre. Strutting down the runway (hallway) of my place of work with RuPaul’s “Born Naked” blasting in my headphones, later replaced by the genius that is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s brain child, ‘Hamilton.’

I had the privilege of seeing someone who is now a friend, perform his original works of spoken word poetry, which inspired me and allowed me to see him in a kaleidoscope of dimensions. I might even read some of my own work at his next show.

I feel lucky and grateful for everything that has happened; the good, the bad, the ugly. I’m grateful for all the new relationships that blossomed this year, professionally and personally, and for the relationships that continue to sustain,  defying the passage of time and busy schedules.

What is the good without the bad? The greatest misfortune of this year came when an active member of the family suffered a stroke, leaving most of the left side of his body weak. In the wake of even such distress as this, there were things to be immensely grateful for: that when it struck, he was in public, and someone saw it and called 9-1-1, which meant he got treatment in the best possible window of time. There is hope he will regain most of his left side through therapy. It’ll be a long road, but one littered with hope, perseverance, and unconditional love.

I’m standing on the precipice of turning 30 in May and instead of fearing it, I want to welcome it with a big warm hug.

Let Me Explain...

2016 is going to be the year of adventure and release. If you know me, you know that I’m a control freak, lovable in her blunders to try and control everything in her life, but who always manages to throw up her hands smiling and say, “I plan, God Laughs.”  At least we have a sense of humor about it.

I’ve grown tired of trying to control everything that happens in my life. 2016 will finally be the time to let go.

don't act surprised, you guys - Copy

Looking back at my 20’s, I spent the enormity of my time wanting to be accepted and liked, to the point of compromising myself, diluting my dreams for the sake of “security and safety”, and repeating the same old habits on command. This year, when a friend’s fiancé made jokes in poor taste at my expense, I put him in his place: out of my good graces. I didn’t flinch. I didn’t worry about being called a bitch. I didn’t care anymore. I was done putting up with people who drain my energy. It wasn’t worth my time.

What up

2015 has been a year of change. I pulled myself from my comfort zone, into my own apartment, into a new job, into new relationships and I want to see where it’s all leading to.  I wrote more new material and I cannot wait to lock myself up for a week long break, turn off my phone and write and revise even more.

I’ve always been an actively social being, but I feel this quiet retreat coming, and I am welcoming it.

It’s time to rest my mouth and let my mind work the pen in my hand to deliver the messages that reside in my heart.

Talk Less

I looked back to last year’s post and was happy to see that I was right: this was the year of manifestation. The year all the things I wanted were going to fall into place and I made it happen. The treasures, adventures and lessons of 2016 are only going to take me further, and I am striving to be open or more welcoming to them.

There’s one lesson that I am especially excited about taking into the new year and that is this: be open to love’s possibilities,  and stop selling myself short.  I’m already short. If I keep selling at this rate, there’ll be nothing left of me.

In a recent pep talk to myself, I channeled my inner Latrice Royale.

5 G's

Going forward, I cannot let the ghosts of relationships past lurk over my shoulder when I see new loving approaching, whispering my short comings and failures nefariously into my ear.  While its important to acknowledge that those relationships are part of my story, I cannot allow them to keep me from trying again. My biggest worry in my relationships is history repeating itself. I know my history. I also know what I’m looking for in love, and it’s not a laundry list of specifics. It’s more of a cumulative feeling that being with that person emits: a sense of safety, trust, tons of laughter and humor, and a space where both of us can rise and fall, be ourselves and know it’s okay. And if it doesn’t work out, it’s okay.

It’s time to untie the knots tied around my heart that have been cutting off its circulation. To quote Whitman (again):

“Sometimes with one I love, I fill myself with rage, for fear I effuse unreturn’d love;
But now I think there is no unreturn’d love—the pay is certain, one way or another;”

In 2016, I’ll be giving love like:

Hercules Flower Girl - Copy

The final manifestation for 2015 was applying for my passport. Now that I’ve done it, I’m kicking myself for waiting so long.  I’ve spent hours on Pinterest planning trips I want to take,  now that I can see the world. Sobering fact: most places I want to visit are either tied to an amazing local bookstore or place of literary importance.

With a trip on the calendar for Scotland this coming May, I can hardly contain myself. There’s so much else I want to do and see. The travel bug has already bitten hard, and I’m already shifting my priorities to make sure that I can afford to travel. First things first (after Scotland): the Northern Lights.  If there’s anything in this world I find magical and enchanting, its the Northern Lights. I want to see them, maybe even sleep beneath them; just lay on my back and stare at the sky. I found a place to go, on Prince Edward Island off the coast of northern Canada, and I just can’t wait.

Lets Just Go

I don’t have it all figured out. I still have so many unanswered questions about where my life is going and where I’m going to end up. This year was an incredible boost, and I’m looking forward to keeping the momentum going.

I’m going to quote Whitman one more time, because Song of Myself was the last poem I reveled in, and it perfectly applies.

“Long have you timidly waded
Holding a plank by the shore,
Now I will you to be a bold swimmer,
To jump off in the midst of the sea,
Rise again, nod to me, shout,
And laughingly dash with your hair.”- Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

Peace, love, and immense joy to everyone, everywhere.

❤ JJ

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