Well, it’s New Years Eve and I’m sitting at work doing absolutely nothing because all of my clients have today off.
This time of year brings mixed emotions with it. Whether we want to or not, we all look back on the past year and see what we accomplished, what we didn’t, and what we want to change in the coming year. A lot has gone on in my life this year, it’s been like a freakin roller coaster. I started the year out all sorts of down and depressed because I was turning 30 and felt like I had nothing to show for it. I was nowhere near where I wanted to be by that point in my life and I felt like a complete failure. The majority of my days from November 2012 to the end of January 2013 were spent either crying or fighting back the tears. In case anyone was wondering, crying while washing your face is a BAD IDEA! Pull it together or you’ll be tasting face wash til morning!
I threw myself a flippin awesome birthday party though – live music, a photobooth, 50+ people, black and white themed, semi-formal – it was like a wedding reception but with no groom. Just me. Don’t let that last part fool you, we had fun. If you’re friends with me on facebook you can see the photobooth pictures here. Side note: If you’re looking to do something like this check out Tusia Photography. Dave is an incredible photographer.
But then, as it always does, life started to pick up again. I’m noticing a cycle. Not only is winter cold and dreary for me (I’m a snow-hater) but I’m rarely happy. Gotta break that…
Anyway, In March I was a part of my first Shoreline Night of Worship which was held at my old church. This was HUGE for me. Not gonna lie, I almost threw up on my way to the first practice. I knew I was different, but would they? How was I supposed to act? Could I really be just me? The answer was yes. So much healing and restoration happened that night in my heart it was unbelievable. Think about it, I was asked to lead worship in a place that 4 years prior I had been asked not to. Simply amazing. I have grown and changed SO MUCH from that original girl, and the best part is that I didn’t need to prove it or rub it in anyone’s face. David Wagner (who is one of my favorite people on the planet btw) said “Your anointing will announce you” and I saw that first hand.
In April I got to see Sara Bareilles on her solo tour at Toads Place! For those of you who don’t know me that well, I LOOOOVVEEEEE her! I want to be her best friend. She’s real, she writes from the heart, she doesn’t sugarcoat anything, she makes you feel like you’re a part of something when you’re at her shows and not like you’re watching someone behind glass, she’s a friggin phenomenal singer; and most importantly, because of all these things, she inspires me to write and sing. And if you’ve heard some of my songs that would be blaringly obvious to you.
In May I got to visit one of my DIVE sisters, Faith, in New Orleans. THAT was an experience haha. Bourbon Street is an entirely different world people, and it’s delightful…as long as you’re not easily offended. Faith is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met and I was so blessed to spend a week with her and her family.
The spring also brought me a new relationship that completely took me by surprise. I forgot how much I liked being part of a team. How good it felt to know someone out there cared about me and actually did something about it. What it was like when someone wasn’t just using me and ready to drop me like a fly at will with no explanation. I was on cloud 9 and convinced I finally found the man that was made for me. But just as quickly and unexpectedly as it started, it also ended, for reasons I still don’t fully understand and doubt I ever will. And I’m ok with that…well…I’m trying to be ok with that haha. He’s still a part of my life, we’re friends, we just need to figure out what that looks like. And if things change, so be it, but I can’t hold on to that hope. It’s not fair to my heart.
The fall. That’s when things started to fall apart in almost every aspect of my life (work, friendships, relationships, etc.) and I didn’t understand any of it. I would tell people that the only thing that made any sense in my world was worship so I was clinging to that with every last bit of strength I had. Some of them probably thought I was kidding or exaggerating, but I was dead serious, and still am to a certain extent. I won’t bore you with the questions that no one can answer, I’ve already (for the most part) come to terms with the fact that these will become unsolved mysteries in my story. We’ll just add them to the pile. But that’s part of life right? Just know that I’m actively trying to move past them and on to the next chapter in this chick flick that is my life.
In a lot of ways I feel like I’m ending 2013 the same way I ended 2012 – with the same list of wants, desires and needs. But that’s only part of what makes me me. If I look at who Jess was as a whole one year ago I have definitely come a long way. I’ve learned to love more, I’ve learned to open up and not have as many walls up, I have more freedom in worship and I’m more confident in my ability to sing just to name a few.
As for 2014? I plan on making this my year. I’m going to do more things for me. I’m going to travel more. I’m going to do more things that scare the crap out of me. I’m going to become a runner. I say this all the time, but this time I mean it. I plan on doing the Run or Dye 5K race in Hartford in July and the Warrior Dash in Madison in September and who knows, maybe I’ll find others! I want to get my own place. I want to release my first CD. Maybe I’ll make Marie Hackley’s dream come true and finally audition for The Voice hahaha. I want to go back to eating healthy and actually use my gym membership that I’m now paying for. I want to keep up with this blog and turn it into something more than just a place for me to vent and babble but a place where people can get encouragement and know they’re not alone. But most importantly, I want to be ok with the fact that some of these things may not happen next year. 2014 is going to rock my socks off, I’ve already decided, now I just need to sit back and watch it happen.