2016: sideswiped by a sleeping driver and it all went downhill from there... ish

Last New Years Eve, Hal and I woke up to a crash.

"Oh, fuck. What the shit?"

Those were 2016's first words.

Oh fuck. What the shit. 

It was pitch black outside when Hal disappeared out the front door. I waited for him to come back and when he didn't, I went outside, too.

There he stood, hands on his head, next to a rattled woman who, in her words, had fallen asleep behind the wheel on her way home from work, crashing into four parked cars in front of our house.

(One of them was ours.)

"Good morning," we mumbled to each other under our breath.

"And Happy New Year?"

We turned to one another -- having just the night before discussed our hopes and dreams for 2016 -- our excitement over a new year and all that it had in store for us -- and everyone -- and we laughed.

"What if this is a sign of what's yet to come?"

"Nah..." we both chuckled. "It's just a car, you know?"

"It's just a car."

There have been several times over the last twelve months where we've brought up our first morning of 2016 -- I tend to live by signs and yet, I SO desperately wanted that CRASH BANG SMASH sign to be a false alarm.

"This is going to be a great year," we mumbled as the sun rose over the flashing police lights.

This is going to be a great year, we repeated, over and over, as one by one, cars were towed...

This is going to be a great year, we said to ourselves in our heads as we swept broken glass off our driveway.

This is going to be a great year.

A great year.


Spoiler alert: It wasn't.
Everything at every turn felt like a battle in 2016. Personally. Professionally. Alloftheabovey. Hal was out of work for half the year, coinciding with my career refocus -- decreased income -- elevated workload and a sort of paralyzed ability to focus on anything outside of the election. Heroes fell... my marriage barely made it through the summer. Puberty happened. I lost my voice on several occasions from yelling so much. I smoked more cigarettes than I should have. Cried so often I stopped wearing eye makeup. Lost fifteen pounds because I was unable to eat -- sick to my stomach over he who shall not be named and EVERYTHING he said/did and represented during the campaign. I was finally -- for the first time in my adult life -- able to talk somewhat openly about past experiences I've spent the better part of my life suppressing. I was also heartbroken -- and still am -- by the election and have spent the last two months in a sort of angry daze, oscillating between deep sadness, rage and hyperactive optimism -- if that's even a thing? It feels like a thing.

At the risk of dumping every TMI detail in this post -- I came here today to possibly (hopefully?) end on a high note. Because, while 2016 was certainly a battle, there were moments of pure magic... there are always moments of pure magic -- sweetness and light in the margins of sadness and darkness and life. 
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I watched my babies grow -- transitioning out of preschool (Bo and Revi) and into middle school (Archer.) We went on local and not-so-local adventures.
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I was inspired by my children (and all children) more this year than ever before. There was the birth of my kids' first cousin and my first nephew, Zephyr.
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There was hope. And poetry. Rainbows. And Magnolia. 
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2016 was an entry level course on how to balance advocacy with creativity, professionalism with autonomy, anger with action. 2016 was the fire under my ass I needed to push MYSELF forward.
2016 was the year I realized I had to fight for myself or risk losing her. I embraced my inner "fuck no!" and simultaneously recognized how to say YES to myself. In short, 2016 was in preparation for 2017. Because falling down HAS ALWAYS BEEN the prologue to GETTING BACK UP.
And, yes, 2016 was INDEED a series of smashed cars on the side of the road. But, in the end, it gave us new perspective on where NOT to park. So at least there's that.
"At least there's that," we say, kicking the last of the glass off the curb, bruised and battered, yes, but VERY MUCH STILL STANDING. Taller than ever even.


...And that in itself is something to celebrate.


Happy New Year, friends. Wishing you love, light and EVERY FIST TO THE SKY. May you find peace while continuing to fight the good fight. May you realize your immense, unapologetic power. May you THRIVE. 
With love, gratitude and solidarity,


P.S. In full circle... "and scene" action, my eyeglasses, which I have worn ALL YEAR just broke. And to that I say, here's to NEW VISION, FRIENDS.  2017!!! My eyes are blurry with anticipation for you, woman! AND MY NEW GLASSES WILL BE THE SHIT, JUST YOU WAIT. JUST YOU WAIIIIIIIT!