Everyone on the planet has already written their 2015 send-off. I wasn’t going to do it.
In the interest of being really real, I’ll tell you that I seriously had to fight myself on this post. I’ve rewritten it a couple of times. Send-offs are so mainstream, GAWD. I didn’t really want to be that blogger. But then I remembered that actually, I still say things like, “I’m the type of girl who…” like I’m sure of the type of girl I am, when most days I’m just lucky if I eat breakfast AND get to work on time.
A few nights ago, I was sitting at my dining room table with a dear friend I met in 2015, and have come to love and know so well. She’s one of those people who says things and you’re just like, “YES. That is it. That’s me. How did you know…?” This year, she convinced me to shave half my head and take archery classes at 6AM on a Saturday. I’ve spent nights in my car with her in the passenger seat, both of us crying over the past and rejoicing in our future. In the spring, I listened as she told me she was quitting her 9-5 job to apply to school and train for a completely different field. She just finished her first quarter at Cal State LA.
We have a running joke about this being the “season of crazy.”
She dyes her hair purple and I write half a novel in a single day, and then we eat pizza and drink wine. It’s like that with us. So I guess it wasn’t really out of the ordinary when we were lounging around my apartment for me to say, “I think something big is about to happen.”
And it wasn’t all that extraordinary for her to look at me like she knew and reply, “Girl, yes. I can feel it. 2016 will be the year.”
But at the same time, all things considered, it sort of is.
Because 2015 beat me up, you guys.
No. Actually. 2015 beat me IN.
I won’t pretend like I’ve been 100% candid on the Internet about this. I haven’t been. I’ve actually been basking in having the ability to shape and carve out space for my online voice, and part of that is knowing that I now have readers who have never met me (I love you, by the way). In real life, I’m pretty quiet most of the time. I prefer to watch and listen, and large groups of strangers used to give me anxiety.
So when I think about you, growing group of people I have never met, I get shy.
I don’t want that. Screw shy. I would rather be a huge mess in front of all of you.
So when I say 2015 beat me in, I mean I started strong, with every intention of making the year mine, only to withdraw into myself again and again to feel safe in my own head. It was my first full year out of school and I felt like I had to start from scratch. I threw myself into a job I knew nothing about, where I work every day with currently and formerly homeless women and leave feeling pretty raw. I let myself fall heart-first into a church community that had felt for the longest time like it would never be mine. I sent my baby manuscript out into agentland and compiled a slowly growing list of rejections.
I swallowed my disgust with “networking events” and went to The Yellow Conference, which turned out to be the most candid, non-networking-y event I’ve ever been to. I met incredible women who challenged me to leave my mark in the world.
I wrote a new book, after doubting that I would ever write another one that felt so much like me. Then I couldn’t bring myself to look at it again for two months.
In October I burned out, and it was so awful and numbing that I didn’t even tell most of my friends about it. I lost almost ten pounds from stress. I couldn’t even muster the energy to cry (and I’m a crier so that’s how I knew something was really wrong).
I said yes to a new relationship. And he’s generous and patient and kind and I don’t know where it’s going, but I am willing to stay and find out.
In a lot of ways 2015 was me, learning how to stay.
I told myself I wasn’t going to be afraid of telling my story anymore, and here I am, terrified. So I guess when I told my friend that I felt like 2016 was going to bring something big, it was both a suspicion and a hope.
I want it to happen. But I’m also nervous. Because it’s felt like, this year, God has been preparing me for something. And knowing Him, it’s going to be something I probably won’t want to do at first. Something scary. Something that stops me from retreating into my head and settling into my silence. Something that will shatter me in all the right ways. Something that will put me back together, if I let it.
Looking back at the journal entries and blog posts from the past year…I see myself saying to God, “What are You doing to me?” over and over. And as much as I sort of wish it didn’t, my year seems to boil down to God whispering, Hold on. Hold on. Wait. You’re going to make it. Sometimes, He shouted it. And sometimes, I shouted it back.
What are You doing to me?
I’ve shout-prayed and whisper-prayed that prayer so many times this year. So. Many. Times. And always, always the answer was, Hold on. Hold on. Wait.
Maybe that’s why I feel like I’m on the brink of something. Call it a dive, a jump, an awakening… Maybe this will be our 2016.
The waiting season is passing. The time to bear down and weather the sh*tstorm that was this year might be over at last. 2015 might have been a year of surviving, but 2016 could be a year of raising hell.
A YEAR OF AWAKENING.
That is what I think I’ve been feeling—this itch, this urge, this new hunger fueled by God calling me out of my endurance and into a season of action. He has been building a warrior’s heart in me.
Maybe I’m kidding myself when I say that I think we all want to believe that this will be the year of ____. But I know He’s been preparing you, just like He’s been working on me.
You might not know it, but this is the season of crazy. Of wild love. Of late nights and people you didn’t know you needed. Of renewal and grace. Of seeing the worlds you missed before. Of standing on chairs with arms outstretched, screaming, We will be heard today. Of fighting to save the moments that will leave us breathless.
This is our midnight.
What will 2016 hold for you? Do you have resolutions or goals or hopes for this year? Let me know in the comments. ❤