Good Job, 2015.
365 days ago, I was incredibly lonely. I was not in control of my body. I was not particularly proud of myself. I felt very lost. I had sacrificed a lot to pursue my dreams and was left wondering if I made the right choices. I was trying, trying, trying to control the uncontrollable.
I tend to have this outlook on life that if you just work on your inner self hard enough, reach the right conclusions, have the right plan in place, find the healthiest mindset, then everything will fall into place.
We are almost never in control.
A year later, I would say I’m not perfect. I’m not exactly where I want to be. But I’m exactly where I need to be. I am so much healthier physically, mentally, emotionally, and interpersonally than I have ever been. I am genuinely living my dream. I am a Vanderbilt Divinity grad student a year out from graduation–something I fought for years to be, even if it’s not what I thought it would be. I am an ordained minister and deacon, even if it’s not by the church I thought it would be. I am a part time homeless outreach worker with the organization I fought to stay with, even if most days my heart is more broken and scared than I’d like it to be. I am still living in Nashville, a city I fought to stay in, even if it rapidly becomes unfamiliar to the city I grew up in. I am a Nashville Rollergirl, even if I am realizing this dream a few years later than when I first started. I have not found whatever true love exists out there with another person, though I am beginning to understand how to find it within myself.
The other day, I was skating outside in surprisingly balmy weather for a Tennessee winter. There’s a local abandoned airstrip where I can feel like I’m back in rural Tennessee for a moment. I can let the wind wash over me and feel like I’m flying on eight wheels. I began to gaze into the sky and think about this past year and what the next one will be like. On the pavement, someone sprayed in graffiti “good job,” and I felt like it was very appropriate as a theme for this past year.
I have worked so hard inside my self, struggled so much with my hopes and dreams and how I have failed and reluctantly succeeded. I have externalized all this into a contact roller sport where my tears have transformed into sweat. I have not found the answers. I have not reached solutions. But in the process I have found a journey where I am my own damn companion, and to that I say “good job.”
I have recognized that there is so little in my control. I have recognized I cannot kid myself into thinking I can sort it all out in my head and that my reward will be God dropping a partner into my life because I am now “enough.” I am already enough whether I am single or partnered or broken or whole, and to that I say “good job.”
I am living my dream even if it is incredibly harder and more disappointing than I thought it would be. It is also more tragically beautiful and challenging and life giving than I could ever have dreamed of. The fact that I still wake up and go do it is worthy of a “good job.”
I don’t know what 2016 will be like. I am now not so naive to think that this will be the year I get it right. There are some goals I am done setting in favor of other goals that I can actually manage and work towards. I want to do right by myself this year. And the only way I can do this is to let go. So that’s what I’m gonna resolve to do this year. To let go of all that crushes my spirit in favor of that which helps me lean into the mysterious. To let go of all the ways I hold myself back by thinking I am not enough, that what I have is not enough, that my life is not enough. To let go of all that makes me think I’m not living my dream or fulfilling my purpose.
To letting go.
May God give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
May God give me the courage to change the things I can.
May God give me the wisdom to know the difference just for today.