2014 Round-up

As far as year’s go, I think 2014 is one of the more important ones for me to reflect on and write about with honesty, because my feelings about the year sucked, but I don’t think my feelings reflect the truth of what happened.

Last year, I ran three Ragnar Relays, which is awesome.

Kendra and I did not have a single argument. She is an excellent roommate and friend.

I found the church I’ve been looking for.

I read 52 books.

I started doing yoga, and learned how to relax a little bit.

I dated a lot of okay, but not awesome men, and learned a lot about myself.

I struggled with depression.

I completed a full draft of my manuscript and got it almost fully ready to send to agents. (This one was my New Year’s resolution.)

I went to Peru, camped at the foot of a glacier, hiked up to 15,000 ft, and fled from a wildfire.

I trained myself to run in sandals, like a badass.

I had the English department over to my house and built up a handful of relationships at work.

I started playing D & D.

I turned 30.

The vast majority of my relationships with others morphed. Some changes were heartbreaking. Some were edifying. Several were confusing. Now, I find myself more confident in the friendships that survived another year, and in my choices to let other relationships go.

I hosted the Gospel Marathon.

When I look back on the year, I honestly see progress and joy.

When I think back on the emotions of the year, I find myself angry, disappointed, and hopeless.

The fact that my emotions don’t match the events of the year troubles me. I believe the majority of that is due to my independence. I always struggle to allow people to claim me. I don’t trust, which is one of those glaring character flaws that can’t be denied.

I began the year in a position that seemed built to cause me to struggle with trust. It’s like I was set-up through the loss of Shasta’s friendship, the lack of stable church community, the change in my life’s focus to career and the future, the angst I felt for Mike… I began the year in a situation of flux that required and enforced independence in my life.

I still feel the Shasta-sized hole in my heart. At first, I think I was just confused about what happened. I wanted to know what I’d done. I wanted closure. I felt whip-lash for the way she removed herself from my life and from our community.

As I think about it now, I think the betrayal I felt from Shasta had more to do with the sad feeling of having had someone who was accessible and devoted throughout every day, and then not having that anymore. I spent the year missing the way Shasta would just show up somewhere I was because she guessed that’s where I would be. I’ve missed having a friend who was trying to grow in her knowledge of Christ, and doing so alongside of me. I’ve missed reading books with her and thinking about her life. I’ve missed texting her about my bowel movements at Starbucks.

The church community thing was difficult, because I felt like I kept investing in churches, only to discover that I was trying to fit myself into the wrong puzzle. I was the wrong type of piece. There were issues of doctrine at this church, or a problem of practical theology at another. There was the problem that I was built with the personality and experience to lead, but the heart for leading comes and goes. Starting in with a new group of people put me back at the beginnings of trust, which has to be frustrating for everyone involved. It’s frustrating to me because I am eager to fit in and feel at ease, but my heart won’t be rushed. It’s frustrating to people who try to get to know me. It’s frustrating to church leadership, as they try to figure out where and how to use me.

I could go into the things with work/future and Mike, but it doesn’t really matter. I think what matters is that I probably had good reason to struggle this year, and I oughtn’t to be so frustrated with myself. I shouldn’t guilt myself for being depressed when I had some excellent reasons to feel jubilant… and yet, I felt the opposite of that.

In the coming year, I’m feeling hopeful.

I’m enthusiastic and terrified about jumping into the publishing thing for real. I think there’s a good chance I’ll find representation for my manuscript, which is a frightening, giddy feeling.

Additionally, I’ll be starting on a new manuscript this year, regardless of what happens with the first one. It’s been more than three years since I got to write a character who isn’t Weston or Madi, and it sounds like a lot of fun to write someone new.

I’m looking forward to a year of running like a barbarian.

I’m hopeful that Midtown will become more of what it wants to become, and that I will become more of what I want to become, through and for Midtown.

I’m anxious to see what happens with my career this year. I’m currently running unopposed to become secretary of my district’s chapter of the educator association, and I’ve been asked to attend a leadership summit in Anaheim.

I’m looking forward to reading books.


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