Last month, after the devastating election results, I had dinner with a couple of wonderful women at a friend’s house. After dinner my friend wanted to do an activity. She had this fun paper with a rainbow printed on it as background decoration. She wanted us to make a list of all of the good things that happened this past year. She thought this was a great way to get our minds off of the possibly terrifying future. It totally worked. As soon as I started writing I could think of dozens of really great things that I experienced in 2016.
Up front, I have to say that 2014 was just so excellently good. I honestly can’t think of a bad thing from this past year. It was good in so many ways. Here is a list of some of my favorite moments and things that happened.
Last night I had a nightmare. I was passenger in a black Volkswagen Bug, my Uncle Will was driving. We drove into the driveway of my grandparent’s beloved yellow house. When we pulled up I could feel that something was wrong. I got out of the car and my uncle sped away, leaving me alone. I paced in front of the house for a while, afraid. Then I opened the door to go inside. There were two kids sitting inside, one girl and one boy. There were familiar to me in the dream but unfamiliar to me in my waking life. I asked them if they were alone and they said yes. I asked them what happened and they said, “He killed them all.” I said, “let’s get the fuck out of here” out loud because this is when my husband woke me up.
This dream about the slaughter of my family stems from a conversation I had with my mom earlier that evening where we decided that 2013 was the Year Of Death for our family.
So yeah. Not a good year in that way. It was a very difficult year full of lots of suffering and sadness. A very challenging year. But I also think there was a lot of soul growth too.
However, there were some very happy moments and some bright spots. I am going to just copy here what I wrote on my photography blog because I think it says it all:
While 2013 hasn’t been the best for me personally and for my family, it has been a fantastic year for photography. Photography was the light in my life, the thing that kept me together through the tough times. I have met some really wonderful people all over the world because of my passion for film photography and I couldn’t be more grateful. This past year I have collaborated creatively with other photographers, learned how todevelop my own film, learned how to make prints in the darkroom, and became obsessed with pinhole photography. When I look at all of these wonderful things I truly can say that, while it was challenging, it was also a great year.
There are many great things in store for me in the coming year and I am looking forward to it. I hope you are yours also have a great year. Here’s to 2014!
I had an amazing year. Finally. A year that was all good. I can’t think of anything to complain about regarding the past year, and for this I am grateful (’cause the past several years have been kinda painful. Thanks for the break, Universe!)
Travel. If someone had told me a year ago that I would visit France in the coming year I would have called them a liar. But I DID IT! I went to France! And I loved it! And now I want to go back. And I want to visit ALL THE PLACES.
Photography. I had a lot of fun this year with it. I always do but exploring film photography was super fun. I will be doing more of it in the coming year. First on the list of things to do: develop my own film already! (taking it in to be developed is breaking the bank. I need my money to visit ALL THE PLACES.)
Running. I have had an on again/off again relationship with running for most of my life. Regardless, It is my favorite form of exercise and it is important to me. My big running goal has been to run 5 miles. This goal, for whatever reason, had eluded me. Not anymore! This past summer I finally reached that milestone and even surpassed it! Yay me!
Blogging. I moved my blog to WordPress.com about a year ago and in the process have been plugged into an amazing blogging community, the likes of which I haven’t seen in years. I have seriously enjoyed “meeting” and getting to know all of you! And I continue to enjoy being introduced to many amazing and inspiring blogs. Also, I managed to blog everyday this year! Well except for that one day in August. But it’s JUST ONE. Hmm. It appears missed a day in June as well. so two days. I missed TWO DAYS out of an entire year. Do I get a medal? No? oh well. It was nice to check in everyday here. For the most part, it was a very positive experience. I might do it again next year. Or I might take a tiny break. We’ll see.
This past year has kind of been uneventful, if I am comparing it to previous years. If there were a word to describe it I would have to choose “introspective.” I’ve done much thinking and observing and working on myself. I have faced things in myself that have needed to be faced for years. It has been a year of awakening. An awakening that I’m sure will continue on through this next year and further, if I am lucky.
Here are a couple of “notable” lists:
Notable Books of 2011: I read a lot of really good books this year!
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. I was introduced to Jamie Ford when we connected on Google+. The first post that I saw was this one with the comment, “it looks like we just murdered a clown.” I became an instant fan. I’d heard of his book because everyone who walked into the library asked for it but, for some reason I hadn’t picked it up. I finally did this year and am so glad! It was excellent!