“A run into 2017” is probably a more appropriate title, considering my preferred method of mobility this morning. Happy New Year to all, old readers and new, casual virtual passersby and lovely familiars. We made it to a new string of 365. I’m glad to be here. January hangs at my elbows and as I write a coffee keeps me company in a local Starbucks (yes, between craft shops I also frequent a couple of my favorite locations of this ubiquitous chain). A slow bustle hums into my ears: a thump of instrumentals, a barista calling a name, an older gentleman licking his finger & flipping the ear of a newspaper corner. Tranquil.
I left 2016 grateful for its termination. It was a tough year, in most regards for which we humans have a name. Since the year shut its blinds I don’t find it productive to rehash every bad thing that happened and every failure through which I tried to shovel, but I do find some comfort in acknowledging these facets so I can gently kiss them on the forehead and put them to sleep. And, to my great satisfaction, I can relay that I did in the end quiet several of the pests. A bout with a bacterial infection left me hospitalized briefly & bedridden more than I liked, but I healed. An anxiety relapse threw me down, but I wiped my mouth and dealt my fatal uppercut to silence it for now – gladly, I’m back in an overall remission. I spoke through my teeth. I hurt people. I hurt myself. 2016 hurt a whole awful lot.
But there was redemption. I remember one afternoon, October 17 at 3:02, a simple moment of serenity which gave me pause. I wrote in my phone notes, and still the tidbit remains saved in the clutter: “mulled cider candle, NPR, reading Good Omens, rain sliding against leaves & pattering against gutters.” A quotidian autumnal scene, but extraordinary in its pleasantry. That seems to be a theme for me: the smallest clear streams of joy filling black voids. Moments, fractions of moments. Of course, in the bigger scheme, I am utterly thankful for the relationships I’ve forged with family and friends. I bonded with two people I revere and trust and love endlessly. I stood up for myself and my happiness. I left unhappy vocations because I knew I deserved better. I think, overall, I learned how to value myself more in 2016. That viewpoint is so utterly new to me, I’m not even sure what to do with it.
I embarked on a walk this evening and for once brought my camera with. I run this neighborhood almost every day and always think “Man, I should photograph around here sometime.” So I did. Fresh eyes and a fresh lens in a fresh year to capture these small golden details I often miss when I’m pretending to be Speedy Gonzalez tearing holes in the sidewalk.
…I don’t run that fast, actually, so never mind…
I want to stroll through 2017 in admiration of how beautiful it is to participate in a new year. I don’t make resolutions, but I do set intentions. Overarching is a need and want to be more creative. More photos. More writing. More illustration – especially with East Ink hanging at my side now. I always aim to be kinder, especially to myself. Practice forgiveness. This year, my body requires more patching up than usual: I need to gain weight, and it’s hard, but I must for my wellbeing. Host more brunches, spend more evenings eating dinner with my family. Explore eateries and cafes with a more open mind towards funky cuisines. I’m traveling to Denver this month and I know I can be miserable company when I’m stressed out & plans go awry, and my sis almost always is the victim of my mean little outbursts. I need to spin myself out of empty relationships and not let some primal desire for acceptance tie me up with people who don’t need to be in my company. I have a tough countenance but in reality I’m a mush, and while sometimes the cold hardens the mush I too often let others play me until my strings wear out. Less of that. Less anxiety, less pressure, less toxicity.
What are your intentions, goals, aims, desires for the new year? Let’s walk through it together, you and I, taking the gallivant pace by pace with as many smiles as we can spare and laughs as we can conjure.
PS: A personal project I’m attempting: 365 Days of Coffee. Whether I share each day here or on Instagram is to be seen, but regardless I intend to snap a shot of one notable cup of coffee (or tea!) I drink during the day. Coffee is my ideal muse. What better way to sharpen my photographic eye than record a still of my favorite cuppas?
PPS: Two new prints just went up on East Ink! A festive confetti-laden greeting card + “Hello January” to continue the monthly calendar series. Check them out by clicking above, and cheers, as always.
Day One | January 1, 2017 || chestnut praline misto @ Starbucks