This Is the Way

Well 2019, what a year we’ve had, eh?

As I write my annual year end wrap up, it’s also worth mentioning that there’s two additional milestones being marked with the publication of this post…

1) The end of my first half-decade writing on this blog
2) The end of the 2010s decade itself

So safe to say, the self reflection will be strong with this one.

I almost don’t know where to begin with that much to unpack. I did a thread on twitter, attempting to sum up the biggest points of the decade, but boiling everything I’ve experienced down to a tidy, bullet pointed list feels a bit weird. 240 characters per tweet across 5 tweets just doesn’t feel like enough. Hell, even a post here on my blog, where word counts are unlimited still doesn’t feel like enough. Because how can I sum up a life?

I can’t help but think about this evergreen quote from one of my favorite (and probably most quoted) storytellers…

The simple truth is this: every story you choose to tell, by necessity, omits others from the larger narrative. One could write five totally different musicals from Hamilton’s eventful, singular American life, without ever overlapping incidents. For every detail I chose to dramatize, there are ten I left out.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

For every writing achievement I can list, there’s a dozen more moments where I spent my night crying due to impostor syndrome, or continually pressing the YES I’M STILL WATCHING button on another hour of Netflix. For every depressive episode I share with y’all, there’s entire weeks worth of nights where I’ve stayed up till 5am with my roommates playing Catan over drinks, cackling at Vine compilations, and talking about life.

For all our words we use, writers can still never manage to say it all. We cannot possibly articulate every moment of this strange time dilation we call a life.

Still, we keep trying.

As I look ahead to what 2020, and the rest of the next decade hold for me, I’m hopeful. While sometimes I can’t believe that I am still standing after everything I’ve been through, the fact is, I still am. Everything that has ever happened that I did not think I could survive, I have. Injuries, work and financial stress, relationships changing and ending, losses of people I didn’t think I could live without… none of it has stopped me yet. Life tried really hard to get me to give up, but if I have proven to be nothing else in life so far, we at least can say I’m damn stubborn.

There’s a lot I’m looking forward to as I enter my 30s. Book deals, finding a home again instead of just a house, maybe starting a family if I find the right person. There’s so many seeds I’ve planted in the last ten years that I want to see really take root and grow in the next. It is going to take more focus and self-care and persistence than ever before, but I feel ready for the task.

Taking the leap this year to leave behind a typical day job was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, and figuring out how to navigate freelancing and creating has been tumultuous and stressful. Yet it isn’t without reward. Since getting involved in a local coworking space, I’ve been supported in ways I couldn’t have imagined I ever would be. I’m being encouraged to see my worth, and to keep chasing the life that I want, even if I’m not taking the well worn path that everyone else thinks I should be. I’m paving my own way now, with my friends and new folks I’m working around helping me to carefully lay the bricks it will take to get there.

So as I close out these final musings of the year and the decade, it feels fitting that I should reference something that has been both a tremendous part of the zeitgeist, and which has held close personal relevance. I am referring of course The Mandalorian, the recent Star Wars Disney+ show which has captured everyone’s hearts with its Baby Yoda and struggling bounty hunter turned dad who is Just Trying His Best. The show is one of the greatest I’ve seen in a long time, and I hope it continues to be as good in future seasons as it was in the first. But the reason I bring it up is because the title character, and all Mandalorians like him, have a creed that guides them. “This is the way…”

While the quote isn’t about me or my life at all, it resonated deeply within me when I first heard it. As any fangirl would, this pop culture quote got me thinking about my own life, and what my creed would be. What my “way” is in this life. I’ve not been able to shake it, and so I finally sat down this week and put together my own creed, a manifesto of sorts for how I want to live my life as I move forward into the next decade.

What exactly does this creed include? Well dear reader, for once, I’m gonna keep those words for myself. I want them to be my personal lighthouse that helps guide me through whatever dark and stormy nights I may have to weather. And while I don’t normally do things like this on my blog, it feels right to now, and maybe this will be the beginning of a new tradition.

A challenge for you!

Write out your own personal creed to guide you through the new year and beyond. You can share it in the comments or on social media if you like, or do what I’m doing and keep it close to your heart. Whatever words you decide to use, let them be your lighthouse. If you use one word or a hundred, let them be words that illuminate your path. Words that lift you up when you need to remember… this is the way.

Happy New Year, my loves. Be well. 💛✨💛

Featured Photo by Jordan Madrid on Unsplash

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