Sunday, December 31, 2017

Never Give Up

A year ago yesterday I landed in NYC, got on the wrong train and went so far the wrong direction. I had been in Barcelona delivering a friends cat, nursing a super busted heart, avoiding reality and not sleeping much. I had decided when I got back to America instead of isolating myself at my rural Tennessee house I would put my things into storage and visit folks around the country. I decided I would surround myself with people and places that made me feel good, motivated with hopes of figuring out what was next for me. So when I landed back in America exactly 363 days ago I kicked off a year of allowing myself time and space to be held by those who love me while trying to be patient with directionlessness.

This year I expanded my community unexpectedly, met so many more amazing folks in places that I have never been and old haunts that I will always return to. This year I hit low lows and new highs. This year I turned 40. This year I moved to back to Wisconsin and got my first M-F job, leaving behind a lifestyle I never thought I would. This year I was reminded why I will continue to fight for what I know is right. This year I was more lonely than I've ever been while constantly surrounded by amazing people, a really perplexing feeling. This year I remembered that I will never stop relearning the same lessons, reminding myself there is always work to do. This year I had deep gratitude for the patience of those who held space for me. This year I remembered why my privilege must be used for uplifting those around me. This year I remembered what it looks like to fight. This year I saw beauty in people that reminded me why it is I do the work I do.

Finding a healthy way to deal with low points in ones life is complicated. I saw so many things in a blur. Time moved in it's most confusing fashion- both with unreal speed and the most torturous slow motion, and never at the right times. I have been reminded repeatedly that my vast community is what literally keeps me alive. During these dark times we must remember to hold our loved ones close with compassion. It is vital for our survival. 

Special thank you for an old friend Marlee Grace who I finally met IRL after years of online friendship, her work in the world is inspiring and makes me feel inspired to keep productive and push myself towards new projects. We spent an afternoon hanging out in Oakland in deep convo recording the final podcast for her long term project that captures my mid year vibe.

PS: Picking 12 photos to summarize this year didn't work, here's my best attempt at the vast range of places and spots I found myself in 2017.

I'm taking note of it all. I am letting go of what doesn't serve me and I am moving forward.

 1. Joshua Tree, CA, photo credit Andy Meagher 2. Savannah, GA 3. Milwaukee, WI 4. Nashville, TN 5. Rooftop sneaking with Beca Kincaid Dubuque, Iowa 6. Bow, WA 7. Minneapolis, MN 8. Seattle, WA 9. Driving from Asheville to Oberlin 10. Hotel clerk while driving from Milwaukee to Nashville 11. Somewhere in Georgia 12. Nashville, TN 13. Leicester, NC 14. The most cold Summer Solstice with Safronia in Deer Isle, ME 15. My residency studio at Haystack School of Crafts, ME 16. Monica taking me canoeing in the Bay, CA 17. Serra Fells, Los Angeles CA 18. Watts Towers, CA 19. Uncle Steve the week before he passed away in that vert bed in West Hollywood, CA 20. Fort Pickens State Park, FL 21. Hotel in Chattanooga, NC 22. Abandon roller rink in Chisago, MN 23. Outdoor kitchen, off-the-grid land project in NC 24. Savannah, GA 25. Rainbow Lounge in Dubuque, Iowa 26. Flea market Stall, Nashville TN 27. Paradise Garden, GA

 2018 = Finding all the new spots & surrounding myself with all the varieties of magical weirdos for inspiration, collaboration and solidarity. This is our time.

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