December 5: Let Go.
What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?
There are several things that I let go of this year. Several things I cut out of my life that I realized just shouldn’t be in there. They came in a variety of forms, bad habits, people, starbucks, and other things here and there. I think most recently the biggest thing I had to let go of this year wasn’t a person, or a bad habit, but I realized I had to let go of the false reality that there is a perfect life waiting for me if I could just “get there.” I realized that there is seemingly always going to be something I’m waiting for or something that I don’t think I have or something that is hard to deal with. There is not an alternate universe where my spotless life exists. Life, friendships, relationships, jobs, living situations, money, family, and all of the other things in life require work and dedication and commitment on a daily and continual basis. There is never going to be a time where I wake up and everything from that point forward will be magical and flawless, and involve no risks or heartbreak or pain. There will always be something to work on, something to better, something to challenge me and something that requires sacrifice. I used to believe that once I got to a certain age, or had reached certain dreams that everything else would be just perfect. The truth and the reality is that life is a joyful and wonderful thing every single day, but it is not promised to be perfect. It is promised that in the end there will be perfection, but life on earth is traitorous and gut-wrenching and messy. I have come to peace with the fact that sometimes things will be better than others but there is never going to be a time when my whole life is flawless.
December 6: Make.
What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?
The last thing I made was goody bags of candy for the office staff at my middle school. If I had more money I would have made one for everyone at my school but I felt the office staff really deserved it. I am constantly asking them questions or bugging them for favors, and they continue to do their jobs and work hard for me. They are also very helpful and kind and they also have a lot to do for the school. I know what it’s like to have an admin job and I know the stresses of it, so I wanted to do something to wish them a Merry Christmas and let them know they are appreciated. I used little cellophane bags, sparkly ribbons, my Rudolph stamp, glitter (stickles), green and brown ink, little red jewels for Rudolph’s nose, and M&M’s. It was fun to make and hopefully they enjoy them.
As for the things that I want to make, there are a million things. But that is generally typical for me. I always have a project in mind or something that I want to do for someone else or some scrapbook page I am working on. I will always have projects to make and I will always find time for them. I just wish I had a room for creation so that I could have a designated space for my creative side. Hopefully I can have that soon.
December 7: Community
Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?
Community is a tough one for me this year because I felt for most of the year last year that I lacked community. I was in a new city trying to make friends, meet people like me, and connect with people that I knew through friends and my boyfriend (at the time). But, for some reason, it never worked out. I longed for close relationships; a real community but it didn’t come. So, I moved back home where I knew I had a community. I had a community at my church, I had a solid group of friends, and I had my family. Once I came back home in May I realized what I was missing for the year I lived in Chicago. I marveled in the simplest thing, like sitting poolside with a friend eating a salad and chatting. I went to lunch with friends from high school as often as I could. I would go to dinner, and get drinks, and hang out with and sleepover with and go out with and socialize with anyone and everyone as much as I could. I wanted to drown myself in community because I hadn’t had it in so long. My community consisted of three core-groups. One was a group of friends from high school, another was a group of friends I started hanging out with three years ago, and the other was my church community. For the most part they stayed separated, but I spent as much time in each community as I could. Once school started in August things changed because all my energy was focused in the community I wanted to create in my classroom and the community I wanted to be a part of with the staff at my school. While I absolutely love my students and the staff that I work with, I realize that I have neglected the other communities that have been a part of my life for so long. In the coming year I am hoping to find a better balance of all of the important people in my life.
December 8: Beautifully Different.
Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.
When I think about what makes me different, I think it’s hard to really pin-point it. I tend to surround myself with people who are like me so that I don’t feel different. A lot of times different has a bad association and tends to make you feel alone or weird or unlovable. The things that make me who I am and fill me up with life don’t necessarily make me different, they just make me into me.
Here are the things that make me into the person I am:
- I love to scrapbook
- I love to love people and hear their stories
- The taste of sweet tea calms all my nerves
- Good music soothes my soul
- I am always thinking of things to write
- I cry every single time I watch Made on MTV
- I don’t like wine or beer or alcohol
- I much prefer one-on-one time than group time
December 9: Party.
What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.
In all honesty, I can’t think of a really great party that I went to in 2010. I will have to get back to this one…
December 10: Wisdom.
What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?
The wisest decision I made this year was to move back to California. I am finally a teacher, the thing I have longed for since I was 9 years-old. I am finally achieving the one and only true goal I have had my whole life. I am also discovering so much about myself, about my faith, about my friends, and about what is really important. Moving back has taught me so much. It has taught me what is really important in life: surrounding myself with like-minded people, being so thankful for what you have even if you feel you have nothing, keeping your family close because you never know when they will be taken from you, looking at each person as an individual and recognizing that they are special and unique, and devoting time and love to real and true friendships and cutting out people that are clearly not worth it. Moving back has not always been easy for me. I have lost a lot on the way back to living in California. But the insight, the knowledge, and the awareness I have gained by being back here has really opened me up for something that I know has not yet come.
December 11: Things.
What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?
3. Junk Food
6. Events or Outings I have no interest in attending
7 through 11: I will think about those some more. The first 6 are quite a lot of things to get rid of.
Getting rid of sex and boys will free up a lot of my time, and my heart, for other things to come into my life. When I spend all my energy worrying about a relationship or about sex or about being sexy or about who wants me or doesn’t want me, my mind can tend to get consumed. If I take that time and energy and put it into something good. Like volunteering or writing or more importantly PRAYING, then my life will manifest itself into something beautiful. Also, the guys have kind of been crappy and I deserve better than that. The boys and the sex are kind of like the junk-food and soda, no nutritional value and in no way help me become better or healthier. I just need to cut out things that do not help me become healthier, happier, or more complete. I need to focus on praying and building a relationship with God and Godly people and getting really invested in that lifestyle. I think over time if I cut out all of those bad things my self-doubt of me not being good enough or me feeling like I have to be something different or better will slowly begin to fade away.