Love so hard.

lovesohardGrumpyOwlLove So Hard~ 12x 18 watercolor (Grumpy Owl) 

2015. It’s almost over. I have to say, this is the first year in a long time I will be a little hesitant to say goodbye. I’m always ready for new changes. new journeys. new excitement. new projects. new people. new places. But this was such a damn good year that I just don’t find myself in the same place as I typically am at the end of December. It’s not to say this year didn’t have it’s extreme low moments, but I feel the highs far surpassed the lows in a way that I’m left with a warm feeling in my cheeks and an open feeling in my heart. I think it’s peace.

If you have been following my blog for a few years now, you know I like to pick a word to live by at the beginning of the year. Last year, I chose give. I admit, I felt a little lost coming into 2015. I wasn’t sure of myself as an artist or sadly even as the human I wanted to be. Something was holding me back, so my year began slowly. I decided to keep doing what I was doing but proceed in complete faith. I had to let go of the noise, expect nothing, and ask for little. I committed to being completely present to live, love, and create with everything I had. give. I was honest with myself. Brutally at some points along the way. I felt exhaustion. I felt true pain. I felt sadness. I felt stress beyond control. I felt regret. I felt hunger. I felt helplessness. I felt anxiety. I felt confusion. I felt out of control. I felt lonely. I felt lost.

If I were asked to do it all again, I would. Why? Because my friends, the important thing in all of this is that I feltWhen you leave yourself open for the good, you also have to allow the bad to creep in. Some I brought on myself. Some was long needing to be dealt with. Some was just life’s crazy journey. But I felt it all. It’s amazing how much life you miss when you allow yourself to turn off.  I’ll admit that I turned off the most important parts of myself for years to avoid being hurt. Don’t we all put up walls and rules to save ourselves from the next disappointment or heartache? What I needed to do was to feel again, and so I did.

Ultimately, that was the reason I had the best year of my life, even with the inclusion of all the negative feelings. This is the year I met some of the most inspiring and giving people of my life, and is also the year I learned to appreciate the ones I already had in my life. I loved hard. I was loved. I gave hard. I was blessed by immeasurable gifts. I took chances. People took chances on me. Some blind. I said yes, a lot. Yes to opportunities. Yes to people. Yes to making decisions, as I learned indecision is also a decision. I traveled far. I traveled with an open mind and an open heart. I reconnected with family and old friends. I enjoyed nature. I stargazed. I watched the clouds. I swam in the cold ocean and I dug my toes in the sand. I built things. I planted things. Maybe I made a small difference in people’s lives. Maybe I made a small difference in this massive world. I feel so grateful for the joy, happiness, surprise, love, pride, satisfaction, support, humor, and liveliness that has come into my life. 2015 was incredible. I’ve got to say thank you, for being here and being a part of it. You matter, and I believe in you. What will your new year look like? Will you take the chances you need to take?

I’m not quite sure how to welcome 2016 after the year that has passed. I know I need to pick a new word to live by. Maybe you all can help me out? Until then, I brought back Grumpy Owl. Do you guys remember him? He started as the tiny owl in one of my illustrations. I decided to make him his own man and recreated him last year, but he came out grumpy on a bad hair day. In the spirit of giving, he gets to feel some happiness before the year ends! Everyone deserves to feel loved. Here’s to a new year full of surprises for everyone. I love you guys…so hard 🙂

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11 thoughts on “Love so hard.

  1. Oh, what a wonderful post this is – with your heartfelt words, your heartfelt artwork, and all that light streaming down and in. I am opening my heart and eyes and like you have made a giant leap this year to another home. Let’s see … what word should be yours for 2016? I am picking one from your post: Surprise. xo

    1. Surprise is a good one! I just saw your society6 shop! I’m in love. I had no idea. Here I’ve been just following your gorgeous art and now I’m dying to get a t-shirt and some leggings! Love it. Such a wonderful “surprise” today! I’m so proud of you for taking your giant leap. Please email me if you ever want to chat. It’s been great getting to know you through our blogs and would love to become better friends. Thank you for the comment and the smile on my post today 🙂

  2. Alisa, I love this post from top to bottom! Love your little owls too but your words grabbed me hardest because boy have I been there (and parts of me still are)! You were such a great encourager to me when my blog started. I remember being completely awed that anyone who could make artwork the way you can would even take a second to look at, much less comment on, anything I did. There were days I really doubted myself and you made me feel like a million bucks! I had no idea what you were going through on your end. What a journey you’ve taken this year! Woo, congratulations on your progress! Really looking forward to seeing how 2016 treats you! Peace and Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays / Happy New Year to you, Alisa! Thanks for being a bright light! 🎄❄️💙🎨👏

    1. Laura, my dear… if there was nothing I got from 2015, this note would be all I ever needed. Thank you for sharing so many beautiful things with me. It sounds like you have faced your own battles, and are coming out through some light over there. Please be gentile on yourself, and know that people are always there to lift you up, listen, and want to be a part of your life. I feel like the lucky one to have met you and been invited to see you grow through your incredible art. You take risks artistically. You see color in amazing ways. Never doubt the light you carry yourself. It’s beautiful and so are you. I’m thankful for you 🙂 Keep creating and have a wonderful holiday season! 2016 is going to be a good one! See you on the other side my friend
      xoxo

  3. I love you. I’m so proud of you. Indeed, you gave and you loved hard this year girl. Better watch out, 2016, she’s on a roll!!! Xoxo

  4. Constantly ever grateful and blessed to have you in my life to help me through the journey! Thank you! I love you and and am so exquisitely proud of you! It’s been quite a year Miss. Here’s to another year of feels and friendship, heels and high water. Have you picked a word for 2016?

  5. Everything about this is too amazing! Thank you for sharing this reflection. You, for sure, made a difference in my year, even if you were far away for most of it! You’re truly an inspiration!

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