Let’s start with things that belong in the sarlacc pit:
Grief for those beautiful ones lost this year and not just to death…but to illness and accident and violence. My mother was diagnosed with Moderate Alzheimer’s this year and there is no sugarcoating how utterly terrible it is…for her and for all of us who love her. I’m not ready to write about it all just yet, just trying to get through the bleak days with grace.
Hopelessness that stems from seeing black body after black body on the street and no justice. Righteous outrage over how we fail without trying regarding our out-of-control gun culture. Genuinely heartbroken over and over again this year by our inability to get better at being human.
Confusion continuing about what, where, who, how, when and why to be wherever it is I am at any given moment. This isn’t really new, but my personal life took wallop after wallop and I could never really catch my breath all year. This has been the most difficult year I’ve ever had in terms of sorting my emotions. Lots and lots of tears. Questions with no answers and answers that made no sense.
Now I want to make it clear…I value these feelings, not because I enjoy them, but because they are the price I pay for being alive in body, mind and soul. To not feel any of these things this year would’ve been the biggest tragedy of all.
And now…onto the good stuff.
Stepping Deeper Into Story
I continued to tell stories in new venues and with new and old friends. I started True Stories: NSFW in 2015 — an uncensored adult story time, as well as telling stories with Tenx9 Nashville. I taught a Storytelling session at Art Camp and began to think of myself as a Storyteller.
I started the year revisiting an earlier career (Social Work) in part to feed my family and in part to see if I could still do it. How would it feel differently to do this in my 40’s as opposed to my 20’s? Answer: I’m a lot wiser and put up with a lot less toxic stuff. Which led to…a position doing social media strategy at an agency. Tons more fun that dealing with poverty, illness and discrimination. I’m just not a martyr anymore. THANK THE HEAVENS.
My family is awesome. And even when we weren’t that awesome to each other, there is and always will be immense forgiveness.
I’m walking without a cane or a wheelchair, managing most days with relatively little pain and impact on my life.
My. God. I. Am. Blessed. Seriously. This cannot be overstated. Y’all showed me why and how to stick around and I could not be more grateful.
I got a lot of clarity this year about how to make sense all of my passions and put them to work for me. My gut says that 2016 is about synthesis – creativity, empathy, communication, community and perpetual growth.
Sustaining me through 2015: Jason Isbell, Brittany Howard, Houndmouth, Langhorne Slim, JD McPherson, The Black Lillies, Rhiannon Giddens, Sugar and The Hi-Lows, Leon Bridges, Nathaniel Rateliffe, The Arcs, Ryan Adams, The Mynabirds, Heartless Bastards, Chris Stapleton, Kasey Musgraves, Jonathan Tyler, Bully, Son Little, Andra Day, Reverend Tall Tree, Lyndsay Perry, Guy Clark Jr, Frank Turner and so many more.
LIVE this year: Loretta & Jack, The Stones, JD McPherson three times (!!!), Elle King, Loretta on her own, Patty Griffin, Emmylou, Brandi Carlile, Valerie June, Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings, Steve Earle, Nikki Lane, Rebirth Brass Band and Crystal Bowersox. GOOD STUFF Y’ALL
Hoping all good things for you friends and family. Take care of yourselves and each other.