Beginning 2016

Life has a way of unraveling in chaotic ways, leaving me grasping for neat endings even when the end has already come and passed, unchecked lists of preparation in my wake as I embark on an event that I had every intention of being prepared for.

That’s how I find myself today. I rang in the new year in a city that is not my home with a vehicle full of hand-me-down furniture parked on the curb. I’ve been on the road for five days now, driving toward the Upper Peninsula. My new year’s resolutions are scattered on scraps of paper and electronic notes. I haven’t paid tuition or found a job or even seen the apartment I am moving into.

I’m not ready for any of this, for 2016 to begin or graduate school to kick me back into student mode or to live on my own for the first time. I need 2015 back for a few days of last-minute planning.

But all these things I am unready for, they are going to happen. I will just have to start. As Caroline of Made Vibrant wrote on Instagram a few days ago: “JUST BEGIN. It will never be perfect. The planning will never fully erase the fear (despite our best efforts). We will never know unless we try. And we will never learn unless we DO.”

Allow me to say a small goodbye to 2015 and all it held, then I’ll begin, I promise.

In 2015, I picked up the practices of hand-lettering, poetry, and photography. In the spring, I fell in love with magnolias for the first time.

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I spent a sacred day hiking at Turkey Run State Park with dear friends. On a hot day in late May, I graduated from college, exhausted and terrified.

In the summer, I met a peony farmer, cut off my hair, saw Alt-J in concert attended the wedding of college friends, and swam in Lake Michigan.

Version 2

I cut and raked hay. I helped my mom make salsa.

As fall rolled in, I attended the funeral of a high school friend and slowed down to savor this life I have. I traveled to Central Asia with my dad.

Version 2

I saw twenty one pilots in concert, and baked banana bread and cinnamon rolls and apple pie. I worked bison and cattle and got stitches as a result. I sat in the same rooms as Andrea Gibson and Emily Joy and listened to life-giving poetry.

I know there is more, much much more. These are just the highlights. But for now, it is enough. If I try to make it perfect, I’ll never finish.

I’ll leave you with a glimpse into how 2015 ended for me, and then I’m off to begin this new year. Cheers.

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4 thoughts on “Beginning 2016

  1. Loved the video at the end! Some of the bison looked pretty frisky! And the falls were gorgeous. Fun to see the dog and the part where the dog smells the food. Looks like a really nice pet. Did he/she go with you or stay at home with your folks? Fun to see the video and read your blog. Good luck in grad school! Sue

    1. Thanks, Sue. The video was fun to make! The dog is my brother and sister-in-law’s, so she went back to Missouri with them. We had a houseful for Christmas this year, and I loved documenting it with this video.

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