(Originally published December 2017)
That’s the one word that sums up my 2017. It was a year of new starts. I had spontaneously written this in my journal back in 2015 when I was going through my personal stuff...
"The forest always returns after a wildfire. Slowly. Reliably. Think of it as a cleansing, a purging of the dead and no longer useful. It is all consuming, devastating, but within the ash is the impetus of renewal. The same is true within your soul.
Sometimes the only way to clear the path for true understanding is to endure the act of burning the old, dead weight. It's not pretty nor enjoyable, and you avoid it for as long as you can. You find yourself dropping the lit match onto the dry, parched ground. You have a second of panic, thinking “what have I done?” It catches, and before you know it you are consumed. The only thing to do now is to let it burn and take with it all of the false truths to which you have been holding onto so tightly.
In the place of what used to be is the possibility of a fresh start. A clear view over the hills and valleys emerge, waiting to be fertilized and give birth to new growth. You have the opportunity to fill them with the purest, heartiest, and most beautiful trees, flowers, and grasses. You now have the chance to cultivate a deeper, truer you."
I am by no means a writer but I think this metaphor sums up what the last couple of years have been for me. I can now see the young sprouts of new wildflowers popping their heads out of the ground and a few trees have begun to provide fruit, (metaphorically, of course.) I've put a lot of work into my business this year hoping to re-establish what I once had. I am really trying to exercise patience and allow the universe to give me what It knows I can take.
I have had great blessings this year, especially with my new studio. I have my dad to thank for that. I am sad to leave the West End of Ellicott City, though. When I first moved in, back in 2012, I had left my old studio in my small dank basement . My studio on Main Street changed my life because I finally felt like I had arrived as a professional artist. It brought me into the Old Ellicott City fold, enabled me to host classes, and create bigger projects. I remember when I was getting the space ready for my open house that December, everyone pitched in. My mom was really excited for me and so eager to help so I had her wrap rope around the railing. She complained, (a little,) but was just so happy to be part of it, she was incredibly proud of me. I am happy to see my friend Gretchen move in and take over the space for her roasting operations for Bean Hollow. I will miss the community I was part of that once thrived there, but I am over the moon excited to have a home studio again, where my commute is literally 50 feet from my back door.
2017 has also been a year of re-focusing on myself in a personal way. I’ve been going to Crossfit since February and have changed my diet and feel so much healthier. I took myself on a solo trip this past spring to New Mexico for some exploring (both inside and out,) and this past fall attended a retreat in Scottsdale focusing on shifting mindsets. I started selling my jewelry, had my first solo art show and was accepted into my first juried show. I also learned how to sing and play my bass at the same time (still practicing that one.) I have a wonderful man in my life, and a few good friends so my 40th trip around the sun was pretty good.
With my 41st birthday creeping up on me tomorrow, I find myself thinking a lot about what next year will bring. So far, 2018 looks to be promising, I have a trip booked with a group of artists to Marrakesh in March, and a couple good projects in the works and I've signed up to compete in a Savage race for "fun." I just have to keep a positive mindset and know that the universe will provide what I need when I need it. It always does.
I hope your 2017 was a good year, thanks for letting me share mine with you. I wish for you a beautiful holiday and an abundant and healthy New Year.