Boy Bye, 2017!

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This year is quickly coming to a close, already it is like 2018 is literally knocking on our door so now it is the time when everyone starts to think what will the new year be like. What will I change? What resolutions will I make and then with any luck be able to keep past the third week of January? But this post is not about the future it is about the other thing we do at this time of year, we start to look back, reflect on what has happened in 2017, how are we different from the time we did this in 2016, what has shaped the way we see the world this year.

For me, this year was a year of major life change, we moved across the country, from the bustling, growing city of Denver to a TINY town in the mountains, when I say tiny I mean 300 year-round residents. So you work with the people that are your friends, your boss is married to your husbands boss (that is real life) and everything feels a little more connected. But it can also feel a little more isolated, and not just because the closest grocery store is an hour and a half away. No, it can feel a little isolating because even though in theory you should be surrounded by your 300 closest friends, sometimes you are not.

Now, I am not saying tiny towns don’t lend to the best friendships because I am finding that, that just might be the case. But I am in a town where everyone has pretty similar beliefs and similar upbringings so I often feel like I am putting on a contrived act of myself, not truly allowing all of me to show because it is a stark contrast to those around me, and not even realizing that I haven’t truly laughed in months. I believe many of the same things as those here, but definitely not all the same things, and I had an upbringing where those beliefs were not the only choice, I was free to find out what I believed in on my own. And I will be forever grateful for that.

So this year has been a lot of me finding myself and my footing what does it mean to be myself here, and who can I truly be myself with? It has been a lot of cringing at the news and praying for the state of our country. It has been a lot of tears over the gutting of education, health care, taxes, the lives of the dreamers, and so many other things I held dear.

This year has been full of weeks of longing to be anywhere but this small town, and then random moments of heartfelt gratitude for the place where we are and the people that surround us. It has been learning to dive into new friendships without reserve and finding the joy in old friends. It has been watching old friends go through new phases of life, some joyful like engagements and then some hard, like telling their parents they are in love with a woman when they are in fact also a woman.

And then the other night something happened that made me so grateful that we are in this place for another year, looking forward to 2018. The other night, a set of new friends invited us over for dinner with a group of people, it was like taking a deep breath after being underwater. I knew the minute she said #thefutureisfemale that I could relax a little more, I could shake off that contrived act and start to be myself. My soul that I hadn’t even realized was depleted began to be filled, in simple interactions it was revived and I thought if these friendships are what 2018 will be like, bring it on. Because in one night of soul filling I was able to reflect, love and realize what 2017 had been missing.

I hope that your 2017 has been filled with soul-filling, I hope that 2018 is filled with a renewed hope in America, in myself and in the people around me. I am ready, bring it on 2018 because in case you didn’t know #thefutureisfemale and that means the future is me, the future is now!

-Rae

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