I know these posts are supposed to come while it is still 2017, but I felt behind for all of 2017, so it feels appropriate that this is coming in 2018. A couple days in, after taking some breaths, after a mountain trip (which always clears my head.)
I have a lot to say about 2017, but if we’re being honest, most of it can be summed up in one word: meh. (And yet, I’ll write a whole post about why it was meh. But I digress.)
There were some pretty exceptional moments - a new job, a new home, new roommates, exceptional friendships, living in the same city as my boyfriend, my sister’s engagement, my other sister kicking butt + taking names. There were excellent books and fun phone calls and perfect nights on the porch swing.
But 2017 was also the year that I was just tense. I don’t know if I ever relaxed. Ghosts popped up in my email inbox, in the form of LinkedIn invitations, and “God On Mute” became the book I most needed to read and the book I most avoided.
This felt like the year I lost my words. Some of my words were published in a devotional, which was a mountaintop moment - but it was also the year I convinced myself I had nothing new or valuable to say. So I stayed quiet + small, two things not in my nature. I compensated by devouring the words of others: in books, in blog posts, in Instagram captions. But I stayed quieter than I ever have on online spaces.
If we’re going into more, this was also the year I was pretty sure - nay, I was very confident - God was going to give me a way out of Edmonton. Instead, He taught me to freaking plant my feet in the ground and stay. I will be deciphering the why of this lesson for years to come.
In 2017, I went back to counselling. Also in 2017, I did not have a great counselling experience + stopped going. In this, I learned going to counselling is the first step. But it’s equally important to find a good counsellor - to not just say you’re going to counselling, but to find someone that you trust to do the work with.
Maybe I’ll always remember 2017 as the year my boyfriend and I lived in the same city, marking the first time in our year long courtship that we’ve done that. It was also the year I learned how messy, maddening, and moving relationships can be when they’re up close and personal. This move finally meant we could talk about our favourite group of men that congregate at the library. It meant he could pay my library fines and we could have coffee dates at our favourite coffee shop. It meant finally checking things off the long to-do list we made, back when making plans was all we had to do. And, in seeing relationships up close, I quickly learned how selfish, mean, rude, etc, etc, etc I am. But I’ve learned - and continue to learn more about how Dave is kind, generous, selfless, fun, brave, and so many other things. If 2017 was meh with some confetti thrown in, this was a confetti moment + memory.
2017: the year I ran a 5k and got sort of, just a little serious about my health. For the first time in years, I fit into a smaller size of jeans + cried in the Old Navy parking lot about that victory. Then, at the end of the year, all my pants felt like they were trying to kill me + I have cried at least once a day since Christmas about being the family potato. You win some, you lose some. Maybe every moment in a year won’t be a 5K endorphin-high fuelled victory, and that’s okay. Maybe some days you will cry - that’s okay too. 2017 reminded me of that.
2017 was the year I said some hard goodbyes, avoided hard goodbyes,+ said some new hellos. The year relationships got deeper, not wider. I moved to a new house, free of security cameras (which was NOT a hard goodbye), + now i get to live in a beautiful house with three exceptional ladies. I made new friends at my new job, and got to have all the sangria + cheesy movie nights with co-workers who turned into favourite friends. Yes please to more of this in 2018.
It was also the year I ‘travelled.' Hello, Edmonton airport, you always feel like coming home. I met more of Dave’s family and surprised mine. I rambled on to the mountains, then to the beaches of the Dominican Republic and a volcano in Nicaragua. I checked another province off my list of provinces to visit. It was nothing major or earth shattering. But it was good for me. I hope the rest of my life has more of the good for me adventures.
And, can I be honest? This is the year I numbed, and exploded in the strangest of places: Canadian Tire aisles, in my car with my stepdad beside me, over a stovetop that just needed its fuse to be reset, on Dave’s couch. I numbed with books. With Pretty Little Liars. With Instagram. With coffee and goals. Anything I could do to not try to feel through the feelings lurking under the surface, I did. I want this to die in 2018. I want less and less and less of this.
It’s been quiet in my heart, but here’s one thought that keeps popping back into my head: strip away all performance. give up your idols of control and having to be right. These are the things I least want to give up, but the things I know I most need to give up. Some of this means doing the work in silence - doing some digital de-cluttering or some real life decluttering. Some of this means PRYING MY FINGERS off of things, one by one. Some of this means learning how to be satisfied and content. How to let myself be surprised. How to delight. And I’m sure a lot of this giving up stuff has yet to be discovered.
That is what I want to say about 2017. It was hard and messy and joyful and full of good breakfast food, sugary coffee, exceptional people, good words, board games, mountains, new adventures, old routines, and very specific writing instruments. If I could change pieces of it, I probably would. But I’m happy that it brought us here, to the fresh start of 2018. The promise and hope of whatever the next 363 days can bring.
What do you want to say about 2017?