It was the first full year without my furry companion, which was tough, but everything else seemed to be clicking along with beauty and simplicity. My direction is righted, anchor is raised, and it’s time to move forward.
- Working with HopeMob.org — I could write a book about this experience, its perfect timing, the things I’ve learned throughout the process of telling people’s stories, and how it has reinforced my desire to do this kind of work. I won’t do that here, but will simply mention that the opportunity could not have showed up at a better time (within 24 hrs of Sushi passing away) and brought with it healing, compassion, and an enormous network of human beings that have renewed my faith in people.
- Writing & design classes — These classes practically fell into my lap, which is usually an indication that I should jump on the opportunity. So I did. There is still some work to be done in this arena, but it has opened doors that I hadn’t even imagined being part of my world. Much of the shenanigans I have planned for 2014 are direct results of saying ‘yes’ to these opportunities. (Stay tuned!)
- Introductions to people who have genuinely improved my life and my perspective — This is a long and varied list. Everything from getting me out of the house more often and boosting a rusty dancer’s confidence, to helping me be more honest with myself (if that’s possible) and embracing my joy, along with the people & things that bring more of it into my life.
- Regained health and continual strides in the right direction — I cannot stress this enough: the people you take advice, direction, and/or medications from should know you as well as any of your comrades and have your honest-to-goodness best interest at heart. If this is not the case for you: call me, email me, let’s work on this. It makes all the difference in the world. My endocrinologists are amazing and I owe them my life.
- Confirmed notions and ideas that had long been held as only theories (in the literary sense) — Having lived a rather “non-standard” life thus far, I definitely see things a little differently than other folks. More specifically, I see things differently than most other Americans. I’ve always been ok with this, as in “different isn’t bad,” but I’ve found a new boldness via confirmation. Different isn’t only “not bad,” it is good and preferable (in my opinion). I’ll share more about these things as the year progresses.
- Continuing to enrich other’s lives by simplifying my own — Still. Getting. Rid. Of. Things. Hell, I’m not even entirely unpacked, yet. I’ll be donating my extra coats this weekend (because, yes, I have extra coats… it’s that whole “fear of being cold” thing), and if you’ve got anything you want to add to the bunch, lemme know. I’ll come pick your stuff up and add it to the donation.
- My dance resurgence (officially out of retirement!) — After about three years of abstinence, I’m back. Yes, I needed the time off, and YES!, you’ll see a lot more of me at dances. Especially blues dances. So FYI: you should probably come to Enter the Blues in Atlanta and dance with me.
- My first real travel outside of the Sates (AKA: Epic Trip) — I’m still in awe of this trip. I still go through my photos with a modicum of disbelief that I actually did it. And yeah, I’m going to do it again. What made this trip so amazing was that I couldn’t have done it — any of it — without the plethora of other people involved: families who welcomed me into their homes, wonderful people who offered to be my personal tour guides, the team at Boots-n-All who made booking the trip super-simple (and much cheaper), and the enthralling people in each country who engaged in taboo discourse with me… every one of you made this trip worthwhile. The same itinerary, if executed via cabs and hotels, would not have been a trip I’d want to repeat. I mean it when I say that you guys made all the difference.
- A renewed spirit — I’m here, more driven than ever, and I can’t wait to get started. Let’s do this!
2014 will be nothing short of remarkable. I have big things in the works and I will definitely share the ride with you, so buckle up and get ready. This is going to be fun.