“I never miss a beat, I’m lightning on my feet,
And that’s what they don’t see, that’s what they don’t see,
I’m dancing on my own, I make the moves up as I go,
And that’s what they don’t know, that’s what they don’t know.” -Shake It Off
My word for 2016 was light, but my phrase for 2016 was simply: make a wave.
This time last year, I was down. I was out. I was holding on to a string of a job, I was the biggest I’ve ever been, I was lonely, and I was losing hope for the future. So I decided to stop making goals and just make waves instead. I knew that if I could just make a wave–just prove that there was something pulsating beneath the person I’d become, I would make it out. Or at least I hoped. And in the end, I learned that making waves looks a lot like giving answers. Yes. No. Not right now. Not for me.
It was in late January that I finally stopped in my tracks and said, “No more,” to the job I’d thought would set me free.
It was in May that I said, “Yes,” to the job that scared me to death. Manager? There certainly couldn’t be a spot for me at that table. I was called stupid for taking it. I was told it didn’t sound very much like my sort of job. I moved forward.
But I still had problems. At 284 pounds, standing eight hours a day took a toll on my feet. By the end of the day I could barely walk and no matter how much I rubbed them or soaked them, the pain was constant. When I woke up, I could barely walk. I took pain medication just to get through and I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror. It was late June that I went for a pedicure just to get relief and instead found myself inside of the biggest wave I would make in 2016. As I sat there, I happened to look up at the mirror and I just remember thinking, “I don’t like how I look.” So I sent the text that I’d been hesitant to send. I got help. And I lost 60 pounds.
I turned 24 in the fall. And then the darkness came at me harder and earlier than it ever has, speaking lies over me about my future and my worth. It was sporadic and hard, but Christmas still came. And God taught me about loving little things. I fell a little more in love with life this year. I learned more about myself–the way spring makes me feel, the way I love being the type of person who notices the little things, the fact that I’m single and still okay. HA..I’m still okay. Still in the game.
While my word was light, I learned that it’s not about perfection. I’ve always based how well I’m doing off of perfection and I lose every time. Every. Time. So this year was just about getting up again–just about making small efforts, about proving to myself that I wasn’t done yet. Even after storms, there’s still a future. Even after losing what you wanted, you still get to move on. You still get a chance at living your life. And it doesn’t have to be perfect–you don’t have to have it all together to have a beautiful life.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO HAVE IT ALL TOGETHER TO HAVE A BEAUTIFUL LIFE.
And so, it’s 2017 now. I have new decisions to make. All the battles of 2016 have been fought–some won, some lost. But I did what I came to do in 2016–I picked myself up again. God gave me a shot to restore hope. So for the past two weeks, I’ve thought about my word for 2017 and I thought I had it down. I wanted to be renewed. Restored. Fresh. New. Clean. Rebuilt. Turn of the page, leave the old in the flip.
But then, I started thinking about the common perception of me: shy, awkward, uncertain. I compared that perception with the perception I have of myself and I compared that to what’s inside and something didn’t add up. At all. I have a very strong inner voice and I know my own mind, but fear has held me back from showing who I am because I’ve had this perception that if I spoke too much or too loudly I’d be seen as annoying or too much.
So. I’ve tossed and turned over whether my word for 2017 will be fearless or renew. But then I looked up the definition for renew again and saw something I’d missed before:
Renew-Making something the way it formerly was.
If that’s not fearless, I don’t know what is. It’s fearless to backtrack and say, “No more.” It’s fearless to refuse to accept something as your reality. It’s fearless to have a vision and push it forward when no one sees it how you do. Of course they don’t and they won’t unless you show them. It’s fearless to refute other’s perceptions and expectations of you–to alter the way you speak about yourself, no less.
This year I do plan on finishing up my weight loss goals, beginning my master’s, growing as a manager, growing my essential oils business, and finishing my book. I have bucket list things to do and I have a life to fall in love with. And most importantly, I have a relationship to renew with the Father. But even if I continue to run–even if I continue to get it wrong, which I will, I want this year to be one of renewed faith, strength, and heart. I want this year to be fearless.
I make no promises, but 2017…I’m coming for you.