Love 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 felt! When 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 🙂