Saturday, December 31, 2016

Cycles amd Stories... 2016's nut of a shell

As if to illustrate my final frustrations with this year, my eloquent wrap up that I wrote on my long drive was not saved, and I haven't found the motivation to rewrite it.
I've changed tones a bit, however, as I've spent the last few days in a much different place than I started this year.
In 2015, I became fascinated with two concepts that carry our culture: the stories we build and the cycles of life that we drift between. I was crowned weave this year into the them of stories and cycles-- appreciating the evolution of my own story, cultivating my instinct to share stories all under an acknowledgement and appreciation for the cycles happening around us: seasonal cycles and revolutions around the Earth as much as the Nitrogen, Carbon, Rock and water cycles we often neglect. At my first recollection, I considered I had failed this theme, because I hadn't regarded it too often throughout my year. This year, my story took a sharp turn, however. I appreciated the familiarity of the cycles around me as my story changed with each season. 

I started this year in love with a man I had wished for half my life, on a rooftop in Manitou, Colorado. A few weeks later, between 500-mile drives, we talked about marriage, and how to co-exist together. A few months later his addiction to alcohol resulted in his death, and a chapter of my life closed forever. The end of this year finds me doing squats in line outside of an REI in 33 degree rain in Albuquerque. I'm in love again. I'm spending the holiday with my boyfriends' kids at my space in a 27 acre park in my favorite city in New Mexico. I have a job I love but work hard at, I have a space to call home, my car just turned a year old and I've got it 65% paid off, I have my health, though I'm about 12 lbs lighter than last year (for better or worse), I own a gun, and I have a huge path of possibility before me.

Below I will recount the achievements and losses I have grown through this year. But undeniably the greatest thing I've learned, felt, exuded... is the power of love. Especially unconditional love.
There will be times when love is all you have. Life will frustrate you, cripple you, anger you, and pain you. People will do this too. I have been faulted and appreciated for finding the beauty in the worst of things-- even people. But everything has beauty. And everyone needs love. And if you love so hard you hold on... then you'll be rewarded. Whether it's with a huge or a smile or a lifetime of opportunities, it's worth it to love. Sometimes it hurts, and often it's confusing, but love is something no one can take away or control, but you. 

Rather than simply review, here's my 2016 in stats.

-Miles Driven: 23,000k my car ~5,000 miles in 15 passenger vans and probably another 5,000 in other cars. This equates to over 300 hours sitting in my car, plus at least as much driving around for work. And I HATE sitting. 

-Mountain Summits: West Spanish Peak, Colorado 

-Two friends lost to alcoholic hepatitis

-New states added to my list!: MI, MN, ID, NE
(4 trips from New Mexico to Michigan/Minnesota)

-Countries added to list: England

-Number of nights traveling/camping vs in my own bed 145/221

-Friends that visited me: Brother, Elliot, Sarah 

-Number of books read: Just ONE! What a year...

-Work accomplishments: Group leading an adult trek, pulling off a wedding, reunion and two rendezvous in one summer

-Another wedding planned and missed- hah. :-/ 

And so, the calendar cycle ends with me completely unsure of what the future will hold. With everything that has happened this year to me and to the world, I've stopped having high hopes for the future. I'm holding on to what I have every day knowing that it can, and probably will change. But I'm also going to keep working on myself. Despite not knowing what 2017 holds, I'm pretty excited for the journey.