This post is all about reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the next. Since I didn’t do any kind of ‘wrap up’ post, I put 12 pictures (one from each month) in this post, with links to the original posts as a way to look back on my blog in 2011.
Taken January 2011. Originally featured in Photo Friday -Quiet
I’ve talked before about how I don’t really “get” the new year feeling. It’s just another day, the clock keeps moving and I don’t necessarily feel any different. And this year is no different, I still feel like birthdays are a better time to re-evaluate your life and make goals for the next 365. But I do believe and trust in reflection. Last y ear i participated in Reverb10 and while I didn’t make it through all the days, I enjoyed looking back at the past year and thinking through what I had been through, what mattered the most and what I wanted to change and strive toward going forward.
This year, I wasn’t going to reflect or make goals in anyway. Mostly due to what I talked about a few weeks ago but just last week, I was having a really bad day so I lit some incense, turned on Celtic Woman and sat down to try to write a bit. I churned out 6 pages that day. And it felt good, because I haven’t written, journaled or reflected much in many months. And now I would like to share a few of my thoughts with you.
Taken February 2011. Originally featured in Photo Friday – Cedar Creek
This writing originally started out because I was thinking about finding my own word for next year. Something to guide me, to help me, something I was going to strive for in 2012. I’ll admit I got a bit off tangent in some places but I wanted to share because I had a really hard time reflecting and finding a word and I thought it might help some of you who are struggling as well.
Taken in March 2011. Originally featured in Focus
full of sadness, doubt
full of love, laughter
my “lost” year
Taken in April 2011. Originally Featured in Kendra’s Weekly Tips
Before I really look back on 2011, I must go further to 2010. In 2010, I was broken, sad, depressed and my only forward movement was downward but I at least learned a few things about myself, or so I would like to think. There were changes and new ideas to strive for and against. I’ve talked about how hard 2010 was but I look back on my choices from that year, sometimes with regret, doubt and uncertainty but also knowing in my heart that those things had to happened to get me here. 2011 has been hell, too, maybe even worse than 2010, I haven’t decided yet. And while I know there are many things in my life right now that make this not the place I want to be, without the pain from 2010, 2011 wouldn’t have happened and I would be sitting here writing with our beautiful baby growing inside of me.
Taken May 2011. Originally featured in Photo Friday on The Road
In a way, I am grateful for 2010 but I’m not so sure about 2011 yet. What did I learn? This is my “lost” year. I’m trying to think about what I did in 2011, what happened, or what I accomplished…and I’m drawing a blank. When I left school in 2010 I was determined to find myself. And while I know that that’s an endless journey that I will continue until the end of my days…I know I am no closer than I was before. In fact, I am farther away than ever seemed possible.
Taken June 2011. Originally featured in See Ya Later, Alligator
How is that? I used to think back to high school and feel like I was so sure, that I knew myself so well back then. And maybe I did. But now I think that wasn’t my true “self” in a way. I had never been tested or tried. Yes I have depression and have had it all of my life, and that is pain and suffering, but for most of my life, I have had it pretty easy. Growing up in a middle class family, with no real tragedy happening to me. I didn’t even lose anyone close to me until my junior year of high school. I knew about real life and I was well read and I have depression so I thought I knew things, but in a way…I was still so naive to so many things because I had not experienced what I have now. I have been tested and in many ways have failed and now I
I’ve slowly faded away.
Taken July 2011. Originally featured in A Photo (or more) an Hour
Here I am, with no real knowledge of who I am but knowing my heart is yearning for something different than what I have but not knowing what that truly is. I don’t know what I yearn and hope for for my life. I hope to be happy and healthy and be a good mom, yes. But beyond that? I don’t know. I don’t know if I want a career outside of being a mom, I don’t know what I want to do with MY time the rest of my life. I don’t know how to satisfy my yearning for something more.
Taken August 2011. Originally featured in Photo Friday Art Room Decor
And so I drift.
Taken in September 2011. Originally featured in Photo Friday Flowers
How does one move forward from here? Or upward rather? How do I pull my shit together and try to be a better me? I’ve tried so many times and failed, or given up. Most of the time, my depression and anxiety get the better of me, so how do I learn to overcome these things and be a better me, be someone I’m proud of and learn to be really and truly happy?
Taken October 2011. Originally featured in 21 Days In My Sketchbook Day 12&13
What do I want from 2012? Security, happiness, peace, no feelings of doubt, a fully creative life, enjoyment. How much of that is actually realistic? How do I define my goals, hope and dreams for 2012 when I have no idea of who I will be as a mother or what life will be like with a newborn??
Taken November 2011. Originally featured in The Zoo!
I want peace.
with who I will be as a mother
with knowing I am/will do the best for my child
with our financial situation
with the path I am creating for myself
the world around me
the life and environment I create for myself and my family
my hopes for the future
The word “peace” makes me feel prepared. I need to strive to be calm and let things come as they may. I need to feel at peace with my parenting choices and with the fact that I probably will not accomplish everything I set out for this coming year. I need peace with the fact that my creative endeavors will probably be put on an even further back burner as I learn to adjust to life with a newborn and then my life and role as a mother (and wife). I need to be at peace with knowing that someday, I will learn who I am and what I want and until then, I need to relax as often as I can and just do the best I can, in the moment.
Taken December 2011. Originally featured in Merry Yule
All of this thinking and journaling, rambling and reflecting led me to pick my word for 2012.
In 2012, my word is Peace.
What is your word for 2012?