2018: The state of being reflected

Reflection:

noun
  1. the act of reflecting, as in casting back a light or heat, mirroring, or giving back or showing an image; the state of being reflected in this way.
  2. an image; representation; counterpart.
  3. a fixing of the thoughts on something; careful consideration

When I think of raising my glass in a toast to the year, I keep thinking of the word “reflection”.

The act of reflecting back on 365 days that you lived through, but also the image of yourself looking right back at you. What has the year made of you? How has your image changed, been altered, adapted, recolored or shaped itself? The year itself as an idea of a handful of days wrapped up in a bundle doesn’t really mean much if you can’t see the imprint that the package has left on your skin.

2018 for me has been, in many ways, incredible. Full of experiences that have brought me back to my true self. And, also, full of rage and guilt and desperation for the things our world has faced in the same year.

I saw a tweet recently that summed it up nicely:

Anyone else feel this?

Going from angry and sick to taking a break from media and/or the news, to then feeling guilty for living your life while so many people are hurting? While I could focus this post on the tragedy that this year embraced when it comes to politics, war, famine, violence, immigrant families, patriarchy and believing women –– I won’t. But know that when I talk about how this year has changed me for the better, the anger has always been there in the background.

So back to the question at hand.

What is the state of your reflection after 2018?

Here’s mine.

A few experiences that have left me with a more expanded version of myself, for the better:

#1 Brave Magic (duah, you knew that was coming): This experience truly transformed me, almost so much so that I bet some people can even see it in my physical appearance. (Oh, and cause I tattooed it on my body).

#2 Spain: Traveling always opens me up. This trip was different because it began on the morning of Anthony Bourdain’s death and this impacted me at every turn. It made it more sorrowfully beautiful, and more fleeting. It made me drink it in at full force, and also realize how precious everything is –– time, love, life. But more than anything, it made me realize I want to leave a legacy that means something, to someone.

#3 Five year wedding anniversary: This year I have come to appreciate my partner more than ever. For his commitment to my solitude and creativity and pursuits. He truly wants me to be exactly who I am, no matter how much that changes. We’ve been together almost eight years now and the seven year itch ain’t got nothing on us.

#4 Mom life: I have enjoyed being a mom this year more than any other so far. Clementine is basically the most wonderful human on the planet and I am so goddamn lucky that I get to hang out in her world. She is hysterical, so incredibly smart and has talents that I can NOT wait to see be refined in the upcoming years. There is not another soul on the earth that makes me so happy. Sorry to all of the other souls.

#5 Sister Sunday: This year, my sisters and I have made it pretty routine to spend time together on Sundays. My family and extended family has long had a tradition to spend time together on Sunday, and while we have deviated a bit from the traditional gatherings, it’s still family day in our world. This season in life — when our kids are little and we are busy and exhausted — I am finding to also be the sweetest. Sometimes a glass of champagne, some good food and celeb gossip is all I need to get through the hardest parts of life.

#6 In the Way: The space I have created here on In the Way Zine has been soul-saving. I started this project to reconnect with myself and my writing and it has done exactly that. I am not sure who else out there is coming along for the journey, but for once, it doesn’t really matter. I am here for me. And I keep showing up for myself over and over.

I am also going to give a mention to MY CAT.
Because that crazy animal has brought a lot of love to our little house.

My reflection has softened. And at the same time, it has become more clear — the edges more refined.

I am less apologetic, less in need of approval from anyone but myself.

I feel more enlightened about life and love; what I am ready to let go of and what I need to cling to.

What I say yes to will continue to lessen as I carve out room for the things that truly bring me joy.

And what I have realized more than anything, is that I bring joy to myself.

My own little self, alone in a room.

My counterparts reflected back to me: my daughter, my husband, my sisters — a few close friends. A cat.

At my core, I am simple; a homebody at the ready for quiet.

Looking into the mirror of 2019, I see more of that.

Hushed blush hues,
with a side of “shhhhhhh”.