Another year end post, by another relatively insignificant human being, and an unwise youth at that. This isn’t exactly a powerful political statement or manifesto calling for a reform of the entirety of culture’s, society’s, and government’s norms, but I feel like this year deserved some closure even if it is just a little non-fiction drabble.
2015 has been one of my favorite years of my existence. I moved away from my hometown, graduated high school, had the freest summer of my life, moved on to college, met the best people I’ve encountered so far, and grew so much personally, socially, and involvement wise that I feel like nearly a completely different person. My day to day life has been full, fulfilling, and flux. Beautiful chaos is a good way to describe it.
But I’m not here to bore you with a list of my accomplishments and activities (personal and professional), the only reason I’m making the effort to bother you all with yet another year end post to clog up your timeline is because this past year my new year’s resolution was to work on an ongoing art project.
It was pretty simple, and it’s quite honestly a stretch to call it an art project, but essentially: every day of the year you write something important— something you learned, heard, experienced, realized, want to remember— and put it in a pretty mason jar to save and sift through at the very end of the year.
As a writer (and an obsessive user of journals and planners), I thought this would be a cool new medium to record my life because it had a more simplistic objective. Journals and planners include much more order, detail, and emotions. With this new medium, the objective was simply to reducing your entire day to one important reflection.
I surprised myself with how well I stuck with it. I have a note for every day of 2015 from January to August (save a week in March). Once I began college, I started to fall off, but by then the conceptual practice was so ingrained in me that physical documentation of my daily epiphanies and high points stored in my mason jar turned into iPhone notes, vague tweets, photo series on my phone.
All in all, there are about 240 notes, 51 fortunes from fortune cookies, 24 tickets to movies, concerts and events, along with an assortment of random trinkets such as a dart, my favorite lipstick, buttons, broken keys, and photo negatives.
I’m not here to list everything that I thought was notable or to recount my year. Things like that need to sit for a while and should sit within. But as I was sifting through and copying down everything that I recorded on a day to day basis I noticed some common themes.
365 days ago, when I started this project I had no idea how it would turn out or if I would even make it more than a month. But here, on the other side, I’m proud of how much I accumulated.
Upon review of this medium of documentation, I noticed that this year I spent a lot of time affirming and reminding myself. Reminding myself that I mattered, reminding that I was worth good things, reminding myself to be present, to keep going, to keep growing. I won’t share every piece of what I chose put down over this year, but I’ll give you some of the most important things I learned and recorded this year.
January 6 – The universe moves at unbridled speeds. Do not become swept away. Do not become anchored.
February 17 – The body is always in the present which makes it the perfect anchor for calm self awareness.
April 26 – One day you will old and remember your youth but you will not be able to taste it anymore. That is okay. It’s is what is meant to be. Just remember you are from the earth and stars.
May 14 – Always go out with a bang, even if that bang is a whisper.
May 23 – You won’t remember How it sounded when the crowds cheered because you were telling your mother you love her. And that’s how it is supposed to be. Everything and everyone comes together, exists, and ends in just the right way.
June 5 – As you get older, less things will matter. Sunsets will always matter, learning new things and the feeling when you’re barefoot, mostly dry and wrapped in a towel will always be wonderful. Remember cotton flying, old dogs, bodies of water, uncontrollable laughter, and dirt roads.
December 13 – You don’t know where you’ll end up, but you do know where you are and where you are home.
December 17- Remember that people hear you and they listen to you. Speak wise, speak truth.
2015 has been the year of the most change and development, internally and externally. I have come into myself in ways that I didn’t even know I needed to, I found people who matter, and I found my footing on the path that I think I’m supposed to be on. And I am so proud of how it all turned out.
Going forward into 2016 know this:
Go out, be with people, be with yourself, be with the universe. Everything is more simple than you think. Grow.
And remember — black lives matter.