On New Year’s Eve, I got my ass out of bed and went to my favorite yoga class. I hadn’t been all week, and I was feeling anxious. I knew I wanted to prepare for the new year and not enter it completely crazy (only a little bit). On the last day of what has been a tumultuous, trying year, my favorite teacher instructed the class to imagine it is December 31st of 2017. Where will we be on that day, a year from now? Even though my mind had been racing the minute before, thinking of all the things I needed to do and how the house is a mess again, I switched gears at this thought. I meditated on this idea and imagined myself lying on that same mat, in that same studio, a year from now. I imagined the things I will have experienced by then, and tried to feel them, even though they haven’t happened yet.
More writing and exploration of myself and my family.
My sister’s wedding.
Another year of yoga practice.
Maybe another half marathon.
Mountain Gypsy as a business.
These are all things I imagined and tried to see within my mind. It felt good thinking this way and seeing the next year, concentrating on all of the amazing things I’ll witness and experience. I thought of these imaginary, future things, but also of everything that has happened in the past year to get me where I am.
While I think 2016 was an overall shit storm, it wasn’t all bad. Some of the things that happened in my life prepared me for what’s to come in the year ahead. This time last year, I was in a pretty terrible place mentally. I was depressed and unsure of myself. I was angry. I questioned everything and everyone. I lost trust in people and trust in myself. My career had taken a turn I wasn’t expecting, and I wasn’t sure I would ever figure out why in the hell that had happened to me. But now, a year later, I can look behind me and see all of the little steps, each microscopic shift in my world that made me better. All of it truly happened to get me where I am right now. If all of that hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t be writing or working on the projects I am. I wouldn’t have seen that I actually have a lot to offer the world or come to feel confident in my writing. I wouldn’t have decided I want to get my PhD. I wouldn’t have begun tackling the book that’s been on my heart for years. I wouldn’t be getting my work published and accepted, even if on small scales.
In preparing for the year ahead and appreciating the year behind me, I revisited my 30 before 30 list that I posted last year. I’m not able to cross off that many just yet, but I have definitely made some progress. Here’s a little update.
1. Buy an airstream. — There is one I have my eye on that looks a little run-down but might do the trick.
2. Start a shop. — While I haven’t officially opened a storefront or shop, I have hosted two Open House events, where I basically turned my living room and dining room into a store, and I applied for a business license with the State of West Virginia.
3. Start a magazine with Kyle. — Sadly, this one is a bit on the back-burner. Here’s to getting back to this plan very soon.
4. Turn my blog into a business. — Mountain Gypsy is registered with my state as a business, and I am currently waiting to receive the certificate in the mail. I am working on a bit of rebranding in the coming year, as well.
5. Start a YouTube channel. — I’ve worked with some video, but nothing too great yet. I did start my Whiskey with a West Virginian series, though, and it includes some video work. This series will be picking back up in the new year! Sorry, guys, grad school is a beast.
6. Run in another half marathon. — I lost the running bug, but I think I’m getting it back. Running has felt good lately, even though I’ve very much out of practice.
7. Be able to hold an inversion. — Eh. I can’t really hold one for very long, but I can get up there with some help. Here’s to continuing that work.
8. Travel to another country with Kyle. — We’re going to Ireland on Spring Break! So next year, I’ll be able to cross this one off.
9. Go to a music festival. — My sister got my brother and me tickets to a festival in Louisville this spring, so technically, I could cross this one off next year, too! However, I’m hoping to hit a few more festivals in the summer.
10. Host an outdoor dinner party. — Not yet, but I’m hoping maybe this summer it will happen. I did host a crazy fun Christmas dinner party, though!
11. Go on an overnight hiking trip. — Hopefully next fall!
12. Go camping. — We are going camping with my parents and family in April! However, it’s in a cabin, so that doesn’t really count. However, my sister and I did sleep in a tent during the yoga retreat, so I feel like that counts, but I don’t want to cross two off the list in one trip. I feel like that might be cheating. Anyone know the rules for these lists? 😉
13. Travel somewhere alone. — This is a really important one for me, especially now. I would love to travel somewhere alone and work on some writing. Preferably somewhere in the woods or near a creek.
14. Volunteer somewhere. — Sadly, I suck and haven’t volunteered anywhere yet. Suggestions are welcomed.
15. Take a cross-country road trip. — Kyle is all about this one. He’s been talking about it for years, so I’m hoping it will happen within the next two years! Maybe the summer of my 30th.
16. Take an art class of some kind. — I’m really hoping to take a ceramics class soon!
17. Go on a yoga retreat. — Wild Spirit Yoga Camp, Summer 2016. My sister and I had the greatest time on this trip, and it was truly life-changing. I would totally do it again next year.
18. Get my teaching license. — Working on it. 😉
19. Read the Rory Gilmore book list. — I have not put a large dent in this giant list, but I’m hoping to make more progress this year. Audio books to the rescue.
20. Finish reading through the whole Bible. — Again, I dropped the ball. Haven’t finished this yet, but I have apps to help me along.
21. Get something published. — This one is tough, because technically, I’ve had something published online, but I’m hoping to get something published in print. Then I think I’ll feel okay about checking it off the list.
22. Take a train somewhere. — Hopefully next fall!
23. Go out dancing like when I was in college. — I am embarrassingly tired these days, so this one is always at the bottom of my list.
24. Hike the Appalachian Trail, or at least some of it. — This. Needs. To. Happen.
25. Finish decorating our house. — I’ve realized that I may never be able to check this one off the list, but hopefully by the time 30 rolls around, I’ll feel a little better about it. Or at least when we finish painting the bedroom, which has been in a state of half-finished for about 6 months now.
26. Get a tattoo. — I go back and forth on this one, but it’s really just a matter of deciding.
27. Upgrade my camera equipment. — One day.
28. Perfect my wardrobe. — I’m working on this, and am learning what really works for me on a daily basis, and what just gets in the way. I’m planning a capsule wardrobe post for later in the year, so hopefully by then, I’ll have a better grasp on it.
29. Get a dog. — One day.
30. Take a trip with my girlfriends. — Where should we go, ladies?
So, one item completely checked off the list. Not great, but I feel like the progress on some others is pretty impressive.
I’m ready for the new year. I’m hopeful and excited for a fresh start. I definitely have concerns about what’s to come (i.e. the election), but I am trying to be positive. In the coming year, I am marching in Washington in January with a million people. I am traveling with my husband and seeing concerts with my siblings. I am writing. I get to see my sister get married this summer. I bought a new planner. I posted a blog, for heaven’s sake.
I don’t want to discount the year behind me. It got me here, after all. Don’t forget everything that happened to you, but look at the next year like something exciting. The year will come and go no matter what we do, it’s all about how we face it.
Let’s face it with gumption. With activism. With acceptance. With love.
Hello, 2017. I’m ready for you.