I asked my mom about sending out a snarky Christmas card last year that was exactly three sentences long, encapsulating the vortex of doom that was my 2016.
She just sent back a photo saying it might just be an easier explanation.
Celebrity deaths and horrific political events aside, in 2016:
1. I admitted defeat and closed down a huge portion of my business ... Instead of running a thriving yoga studio, I found myself buried in 14 hour days of administration and business numbers that just didn't make sense. So I quit. I quit a job I thought I wanted as a larger-scale business owner, and went back to coaching clients full time.
2. I initiated and finalized a divorce from my partner of a decade -- something I haven't talked about publicly because it's been too raw and painful and I still can't say more than "I'm divorced and living in an apartment with my superhero sidekick, Gracie" for right now.
3. A whole HOST of personal demons I thought I'd vanquished came raging up from underneath 1 & 2, once they'd been removed from my list of "these must be the problem." Anxiety and depression seeped up through re-opened wounds, and left me questioning my sanity and all the years of healing I'd done. I spent a few mornings in the fetal position on my kitchen floor with a literal puddle of tears accumulating on the laminate. I was REALLY drunk more than a few times and REALLY hungover a few more. I watched a LOT of TV and battled nearly debilitating insomnia. I showed up to work and trained clients with every ounce of compassion I had left ... and more often than not felt like a hypocrite because I wasn't training consistently myself.
BUT (silver lining. you ready?) when the smoke from the goddamn dumpster fire wasn't blowing in my eyes, I had this deep sense of peace. I felt a literal warmth as the years of perfectionism and hiding and desperation burned. Light pooled in places I hadn't noticed before and gently edged out the shadows that were creeping in to overtake me.
I am writing - both silly, unpublishable fantasy/fiction and the bits and pieces of my story that I am starting to make sense of.
I am traveling - taking un-vacations and camping trips to continue to refill my heart and get my feet more firmly planted on this beautiful earth.
I am SLEEPING. HOLY mother, I'm sleeping. Not all the time. But most of the time. and it's GLORIOUS.
I'm ANNIE. Story for another time... I gave up my childhood nickname in 2006 when I moved to Washington, D.C. to wear black skirt suits and pointy-toed pumps because Anne sounded more grown up. But I'm not nylons and Anne Taylor...I only thought I was supposed to be. These days it's Chuck Taylors. Nose Ring. Tattoos. Dyed Hair. The works. I'm back, bitches.
and while I'm legitimately scared of this year. Like... creepy clown scared... I keep looking for the little flickers of light that push the edges open a little bit. Because they're always there. No matter how hot the fire or how bad the smoke, you can always find light and warmth when you back up far enough. My three breaths #tinyninjachange seems to help me take those steps back and things like this blog, this book and this Spotify playlist flicker when I forget to find my own (full playlist below.)
Happy 2017 everyone. May you find teensy flickers to guide your way when you get lost and raging fires where you need to burn some motherfucking dumpsters.
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