in my 19 years of living, I cannot remember a single year when I felt fear on the eve of a new year. and yet on new year’s eve of 2016, that was what was wrecking my heart. alone in the calm before the firework storm (with a chorus of children singing OneRepublic behind me), emotions kept flooding. why is that tears can be what well up at the beginning of something new and potentially beautiful? maybe it’s the potential for so much awful, for the landing hard and scraping our faces on the pavement kind of year that it could be. the potential for human failure is inevitable. lord, have mercy.
2016 was rough for just about everyone, I think. upside roller coaster, sped up in the middle, crashing towards the endpoint kind of rough. remember what you will: american election, aleppo, continued middle east terror, deaths. humans are some kind of messed up and I think we all know it. personally, I experienced death in many levels. my family lost two grandpas for the first time — we’re about to lose a third. we died spiritually to find a new church family. and maybe I’m afraid that this year will be a repeat. but we can prevent that. right? prayer and intercession and up all night hoping for the best.
2017. it’s strange to say it. I think I’m hopeful. I want to be hopeful. but I’m terrified. I want this to be a year of new adventures and… bravery. can I be brave enough to strive for bravery? The Guitarist is always telling me, “abby, stop apologizing. you don’t have anything to be sorry for.” can I be brave enough to stand up, rise up on my own and not be afraid of the sound of my own voice? or cower back from the voices of others? this is my resolution.
2017 is the year that I resolve to be brave. there. nothing fancy, nothing cost effective. bravery comes with its own kind of internal cost. and here is my definition, cheers to each part.
here’s to loving harder and being unafraid of my heart breaking, even if it comes to the point of being on my knees with a million pieces of myself cupped in my hands. come break my heart. you are worth it to me. oh, I want to love, love, love, until the world caves in. the love will get in better where the shatter marks are. can I take it? I hope I can take it.
here’s to talking louder. not over you or those around me, but over myself. over my head. over the overthinking that happens and chains me down. because sometimes I need to close my eyes and step over the edge without the voice of anyone, but myself.
here’s to listening quieter. because I’m not hearing you if I’m not hearing you. and who can learn without taking in?
here’s to apologizing less. because 95% of what I apologize for shouldn’t be. breathing is normal, talking about something you love is normal, disagreeing peacefully is normal, saying what you feel is normal.
here’s to saying no more. to anyone other than me and my God. not no to everything, not no to sanity. but no to opinions that are not my own that are trying to seep into my soul.
here’s to it being okay to feel things. big, scary, life altering things and tiny, seemingly unimportant things. it’s messy and it’s hella confusing and it’s some sort of beautiful in the end.
this is my bravery. this is where it begins. on a chair on the square of concrete out back and in the somewhat stillness before the countdown. fireworks were starting on the street behind us and sirens were already wailing in the distance. I told Anne-Girl how ironic I found it — how every year begins with the sound of falling apart. And she wise worded me back: “I like to think of it as the the sound of the big bang of creation.” and it hit me square. january 1st, let creation begin.