Earlier this year, I decided my word for 2016 would be “Present”, as in being actively present in life and all parts of it. The good and the bad. As a result, I believe 2016 has felt like one of the longest and most intense years of my life. If this year were a cocktail, I’d call it Crazy Mary. Yes, that is a Pearl Jam song.
“One night thunder cracked. Mercy backed outside her windowsill.
Dreamed I was flying high above the trees over the hills.
Looked down into the house of Mary.
Bare bulb on Newspaper covered walls. And Mary rising up above it all.
Oh… Oh… Oh…
Next morning on the way into town saw some skid marks and followed them around.
Over the curve, through the fields, into the house of Mary.
That what you fear the most could meet you halfway.”
That last line strikes a true chord in me. “That what you fear the most could meet you halfway.” Whether you are terrified of success or failure, love or heartbreak, what you know for sure and what you know nothing about at all; whatever it is, it could meet you halfway. That’s both a frightening and reassuring statement to consider. It’s like saying whatever happens, it’s going to hurt eventually because it matters… but if you are willing to go for it, if you’re willing to really put yourself out there (balls to the wall), then it could meet you halfway. Isn’t that better than never having it? Never knowing? Living the same day over and over again like a bad Justin Bieber song….for the love, someone change the station!!
Oh wait, it’s you, you have to change the station if you want to experience something new. You may not like it, it could even be worse, but it will be different. Change is good. Change is always good because we learn from it and knowedge is infinite.
I learned a lot this year…. some things I had to learn more than once. That’s just me. I’m very thorough you see. I don’t make the same mistake twice, I like to make it three or four times JUST to be sure ! (As the saying goes…) I’m also very stubborn and I wouldn’t want to be any other way.
With that said… let’s re-cap the 2016 Bucket List
1.) Go to Prom – Check!
Not only did my prom date kick ass, but Salt-N-Peppa were there to help us dance the night away in the proper decade! This was an awesome night and proves some of the best nights are worth the wait.
2.) Road trip in a convertible – Check!
We were so excited about cruising around in the convertible that I never actually took any pictures of the car itself. Note: It was a Ford Mustang and a fabulous addition to this road trip!
3.) Go on tour with Pearl Jam – Check!
What better excuse for a road trip than to follow Pearl Jam around for a week? Alright, alright… so I know that doesn’t classify as actually going on tour with Pearl Jam …but just let me have this one, because it’s probably as close as I’ll ever get!
From Miami to Tampa with 2 of my favorite girls and my favorite band.
These shows were E P I C as always. I love you Pearl Jam! I love you Eddie! #yourbiggestfan
4.) Complete a half-marathon – Check!
Anchorage Mayor’s Half Marathon, 2 hours and 38 minutes. I am very proud of this accomplishment and I’m even contemplating a full marathon in the future. I said contemplating… don’t get all excited just yet.
5.) Go somewhere in Alaska I’ve never been – Check!
Homer, Alaska. Beautiful waters, great halibut fishing and good times all around.
6.) Find a rainbow Eucalyptus tree – Check!
While we were in Maui, I also checked off:
#7: Travel the road to Hana and #8: Visit a new island.
My friend drove the road to Hana for us and I have to say it wasn’t as bad as people make it out to be. However, if you are easily car sick, this is not the drive for you. With that said, it’s a fine ride with the appropriate dose of Dramamine and the right people. That is until you pass Hana of course, and then you are basically SOL in a rented SUV. The previous twists and turns makes what lies after Hana look adorable. We turned around a mile or so away from the Seven Sacred Falls. Some things just belong on a post card! Here’s a bit of what we did see…
9.) Publish first novel – Epic fail. I did not do this for many reasons. Did I finish the book? Yes, I did. I just haven’t figured out if that’s how I want to end. I’m just not done. I don’t know if I ever will be as what’s in this book is all a very intricately weaved web of days gone by and days not yet had. More to come…
I didn’t really have a number 10 this year. I was just going to fly by the seat of my pants and see where things took me. Here’s how that has worked out:
- Started backpack initiative for keeping the homeless warm. Donations have been received to date for this project and distribution is in the works with a local charity.
- Set out to lose an additional 10 lbs, only 25 to go! Yes, I gained quite a bit of weight this year but I’ve also never felt healthier or happier. You win some, you lose some. Not always in pounds.
- Brought my sister to Alaska for the first time! It was so much fun to introduce her to my beautiful world. I love her so much and so glad she got to see where I call home.
- Fell in love. ❤ He’s like Christmas morning. Every time I see him, I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life.
- Let go of toxic relationships. If people in your life are consistently handing you the scissors, cut the chord.
So that’s where I am in Living Out Loud. Where are you? Do tell.
It’s been a great year! I can’t wait to see what 2017 holds.