in the twilight of this year, here are some of the other things i learned in the last 365 days:
i. just because you've been friends with someone for more than a decade doesn't mean they're not toxic. the loss was real. i miss her and the light she once was in my life, and i'm so grateful for the friends i get to love now: BFF, peermentor, partner, anam cara, my favorite queen, co-creator, sisters, presbyterian soulmate. see? i'm so very lucky and i want to hold gratitude for that luck in my heart.
ii. mentors are a rare and tender gift, especially the ones who hear you, the ones who know intuitively the words to say when really everything is hard, and the ones who know when to reach out and hold your hand and say "jump." and they're a little terrifying when they have the right poem for the moment. there is, however, always the perfect poem for every moment.
iii. this is the year when one of my very favorite people got very sick, and i decided not to be afraid of loving the people i love. that proverb that life can end in an instant is real, and i do not want to regret love.
iv. this is the year i started saying publicly the name of the man who raped me (but not here because he doesn't get to own this space), started saying that what happened to me in one of my first real ministry jobs was assault, and started saying that the people who hurt me will be held accountable. i continue to hold this part of my life gently, letting it grow not into resentfulness but strength.
v. six weeks of sabbath in nicaragua and peru reminded me to take a deep breath and to find the water that gives me life. those weeks reminded me to trust the earth and to listen for the heartbeat of the next generation.
vi. i fell deeper in love with the friends who have been by my side this year-- i'm in awe of the joy, hope, strength, wisdom, adventure, and fierceness in them. i'm so grateful for the cards, texts, fb messages, runs, and calls (in addition to the offers to edit my work or collaborate with me). when my heart faltered this year, a great cloud of you held me close.
vii. i'm in awe, too, of the work i get to do-- to love God, creation, and neighbor. the work i get to do for pay, for study, for trade is a humbling gift, and i do not take this gift for granted. some of my work feels like a fight for life, and there have been moments when i didn't know if my tears were from grit or for giving up.
viii. my family --biological and chosen-- are the best. i re-learn this over and over.
ix. my nieces, nephews, and godson are hilarious, kind, brilliant, and loving. i knew this, but this year i learned it again.
x. i learned to choose joy. every day. in the morning, i wake up, go through my morning ritual, and then choose joy. in the evening, i brush my teeth, put in my braces, and then choose joy.
in the new year, i know i'll run again in the city of my heart and in at least three countries. may my heart be open as my feet carry me into these new days. xo