It was a year.
A good year.
Throughout 2014 many of my dearest friends were suffering through much personal upheaval. Divorces. Injuries. Emotional crises.
I faltered my way through a new situation working away from home for the first time in over 10 years. An experience that has been ego-shattering, enlightening, beautiful and terrible.
I experienced some frightening and intense harassment that would have been humorous if it wasn't so ugly and scary.
I dealt with a personal betrayal. Part of a tangled web of destruction whose miseries are still rippling out from the center, knocking over innocent bystanders. It was simultaneously a runaway train whose light you can see in the distance but there is no space to stop, and a hit and run car crash, where one driver walks away and leaves the others to perish in flames.
But the good FAR outweighed the bad.
The first time I took my children on a vacation that was not to visit family.
Disney on Ice. I cried.
Evansville Speaks, the storytelling group I co-founded.
Grandma’s 80th birthday
My birthday trip to Nashville.
My new bathroom!
My first time doing stand up comedy!
The sudden, surprising and very much welcome appearance of an old, lost friend.
The introduction of new friends and the deepening of old friendships.
Getting chosen to bring Listen to Your Mother to Evansville!
The Best Christmas Present from the Best Husband.
Even though many times I sat in my office crying and feeling lost, I wasn’t. I was following the light. It took me over rocks and into valleys and through some dark tunnels, but I knew I was in the right place, even though it was sometimes a place that was hard and ugly.
On New Years some of my dearest local friends and I gathered on this crisp evening, one of the few true days of winter we have had in Southern Indiana. We ate and imbibed, we talked and laughed and played “Cards Against Humanity.” At midnight we kissed our lovers and clinked our glasses, then threw them into the fire. And then, with a gypsy curse, we said goodbye to a year we were all very ready to say goodbye to.
Then we pulled out a Sky Lantern, shaped like a bishop’s hat. We wrote on it thoughts and desires for the future. Some were very specific. “A new job. A new home. The life I want.”
Some were more obscure. The word “Clarity.” Other words I no longer remember, and it hardly matters, because instead of rising slowly towards the sky the lantern caught fire, and we whooped and laughed and watched it burn in the street, and then stomped it out and threw it in the fire pit.
I don’t know what 2015 brings. As much as I hope to go into it with clear eyes, I might not have the ability to focus until it’s behind me. What I do know is that whatever happens, I am surrounded by friends. That there is a light ahead and it’s guiding me along....even if its just a sky lantern that has burst into flames.