As I reflect on the end of the world year I can’t help but look back over 2012 with a well earned sigh.  Personally, I struggled with committing to my dream, letting go of crazy and accepting the gift of grace – but I made it through a little wiser and with a stock pile of amazing memories.

It’s been quite a year of self discovery and since I’m kind of proud of myself I thought I’d share my top 12 insights from my journey through 2012.

12) Building a Community ~ First of all, I’m so grateful to all of you who read my rantings and enjoy my art.  My blog continues to evolve and your comments and questions inspire new posts and new art.  I’ve got a lot planned for 2013 and I’m looking forward to sharing and growing with y’all!

11) Writing is a Social Act ~ Professor Nicol Augusté taught me this.  I had this illusion that if I was going to really write I needed to acquire a taste for scotch, develop an unhappy childhood and toil away in solitary confinement.  The truth is to write well we need to engage, research, interview, read, receive feedback, and re-write.  The peer reviews I received this year have made all the difference in my work and I encourage anyone interested in cultivating their inner scribe to join a writing (online or offline) community.

10) Letting go ~ I meditated a lot this year.  And it was tough.  Probably the toughest.  The thoughts that popped into my head disturbed and infuriated me.  But I kept sitting.  My body ached and tears fell.  But I kept sitting.  Anger replaced sadness and contempt replaced anger.  But I kept sitting.  I hit the proverbial wall.  But I kept sitting.  I was holding on to what should be instead of what was.  I was sad, angry and frustrated over something that was never going to be how I wanted – needed it to be.  So I let go.  And I learned one more thing.  Letting go doesn’t fix everything but it does let the healing begin.  I keep sitting.

9) Keep Learning ~ It doesn’t matter what I want to do or what I know, knowing more won’t hurt me. This is self preservation!  I feel that tying our self worth to success in one area creates unwelcome stress and an opportunity for a devastating failure.  Naturally there is a need for balance, but I don’t know any successful investors that put all their eggs into one basket and I see a good lesson for the spirit here.

8) Think Like A Scientist ~  Failure is always an option.  Scientists know this.  They plan on it.  They know they are not going to get it right on the first try.  They know that failure is part of the process.  Spending too much time planning and not enough time trying is worse than failing.  Experimenting and testing can lead to amazing results.

7) Having Only One Child Does Not Make It Easier ~ As a general rule I think it’s easier to slam a revolving door than it is to explain what it means to be Mom.  It is both an individual and collective journey and no two paths on this road are the same.  One of my biggest challenges to overcome is feeling guilty about having a bad day when I only have one child to care for, and I have my health, and my husband loves me, and my parents think I’m pretty cool, and blessings find their way to my door almost everyday… and yet some times I still have a bad day.  And that’s OK because this year I’ve decided that what I’m feeling is valid regardless of what is happening outside of me.

6) Time is Fluid ~ As a project manager I’ve discovered you can absolutely bend time.  Yes it takes a little planning and some gumption but time like everything else is just an idea and it can be cultivated to work in our favor.  Not having enough time is just a bad habit that can be broken.

5) Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone is… Well Uncomfortable ~ Amelia Earhart said, “Courage is the price that Life exacts for granting peace“.   Sometimes we get stuck in what appears safe.  Safe comfort zones make great home bases, but I don’t think we’re meant to live our lives in one 24/7.  I’ve been thinking about this a lot as I plan for the adventures of 2013.  As I stretch and grow I will be reflecting on this quote.

4) Art Heals ~ I am completely calm and satisfied when:

  • my hands are covered in paint
  • I’ve finished a blog post
  • I’ve created a graphic for my website
  • I’ve snapped the slate on a film scene

and a million other creative outlets.

3) The Problem with Single Stories ~ It is easy to think ALL democrats feel this and ALL republicans think that.  That gun welding madmen are mentally ill and that people who die for us are heroes.  We know that our single selves are more than just one story, yet we often (or allow the media to) create single narratives for people long before we ever meet them, if we meet them at all.  Hemingway often spoke about the iceberg effect where the reader may only ever know 10% of the story, but the writer knows the 90% that has created the world in which the narrative takes place.  So much of what we believe about people, places and things is really just the 10%.

2) The Global Village ~ maybe it was the election or my ex-pat nature but I really tried defining my personal contradictions this year.  I started investigating how my values have evolved.  How my understanding of community starts with the community of my family and expands like ripples on a pond to include a global village.  The idea that at our core we are all connected, not only to each other but to an energy that nourishes us, inspires my desire to tell stories.

1) I’m The Other Kind ~ “There are those that break and bend, I’m the other kind“.  I made a big decision this fall and this song became a bit of a metaphorical anthem for me.  I’m the other kind speaks to me in ways I am unable to put into words.

Peace in,

What have you learned in 2012?



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