This New Year

On this day in 1999, I was fearing for my life.

Before The Walking Dead or Katniss Everdeen had even been thought of, I was preparing for my world to become apocalyptic. I was 12.

15 years later, Y2K still hasn’t happened. The Mayan calendar didn’t really mean much either. However, we face our own little apocalypses each year, don’t we? They have nothing to do with ancient prophecy or computer malfunction. They just happen without warning, and change us forever. But if you’re reading this, you’re still here. You’re a God-blessed survivor even if you don’t feel like one.

I’ll be honest, 2014 was a rough one. Misunderstandings, loneliness, lost jobs and a lost babe, confusion and clarity alternating like a roller coaster ride.

Occasionally, the darkness cracked and some light peered in. It’s why I’m still here too.

Can I tell you about them? Can I give you some hope? Will my thoughts mean anything to you?

Tell you what. Keep reading, and when you get to the bottom, you’ll see a link to my best friend’s site, where she’ll also be reminiscing about the positive things that happened in her life this year.  I am so thankful for her. Best friends for at least 20 years now – the kind of friends that drop everything and get on a plane to go be with each other when there’s a crisis.
We are women forged by fire, but rather than sacrificing ourselves to be burned up, we’re going to allow our hearts and minds to flow and curve like water, quenching the heat, refreshing our souls, going forward.

Don’t let your hearts remain stagnant or burnt. Winter is here, but Spring is coming. Join us. Tell us your stories of 2014, and what your dreams are for 2015. Alone we are enough, but together we are stronger.

~

This year, I witnessed another precious little girl-soul come into this world. She took her first breath in the glowing light of an early July morning, in her own nursery at her parents house. A holy moment.

2014-07-16 20.35.39

Soon, my goal will be accomplished through a little piece of paper that says “Carly Hutton, Certified Birth Doula” so that I can keep drinking in those holy moments, keep helping those other women forged by fire become mothers – even if I never become one myself.

~

In September, I was a bridesmaid for the first time. It was easier than I thought it would be. I put on a purple dress, did my makeup, and ripped only 2 pairs of panty hose while someone else far more capable did my hair.
My former roommate and bride of the day gave me a pearl necklace and earrings that she made herself. Treasure, only gained by letting a granule of sand itch the shit out of you until you’re pure.

joanna wedding 3

I witnessed 2 of my best friends commit their lives to each other. They sang their vows and yet they still wanted ME to sing a song for them. So I did. It was called “Dancing in the Minefields” because that’s not only what marriage is, but life itself.

joanna wedding

That day was the most I’ve smiled since I lost our baby. I mean, I kinda legally had to for photogenic reasons, but it was the first time I WANTED to.

joanna wedding 2~

I passed my 4-year anniversary of blogging, and at least half of my 200 followers are real people.

IMG_9420

And finally, we moved back to the town where I grew up. I did enjoy most of the Vancouver experience, but home it was not. Too much water; my fire almost went out.

home

Here in Smithers, I am known. By the people, by the snow-capped mountain, by the back roads and the river wild.

And? My new house has a bathtub.

~

It’s New Year’s Eve. It’s only a matter of one day’s difference, and yet, it holds so much shiny promise. All the shit we’ve gone through recently, we can finally say, “That happened last year.”

I used to be the kind to make resolutions. Not anymore. But for the sake of being traditional:

In 2015, I resolve to lose weight.

The weight of condemnation and shame and guilt of decisions past. The weight of trying to be liked by all and keep everyone happy. The weight of perfection. I want to lose it. And if, in doing so, it prompts me to live a healthier life that actually affects scale, then so be it.

And in 2015, I resolve to be the 7-11 in Smithers on Christmas Eve.

It was the only place open and serving food past 6pm when my husband, my mom and I were starving. Hot dogs never tasted so good.

No matter what store it is, though, I always feel a spark of hope rise whenever I see a glowing red OPEN sign. Knowing that I’ll be able to get what I came for, what I need, today.

That’s how I want others to feel when they see me. Open. Mind, heart and arms, ready to do messy, beautiful business at any given time. Never turned away.

As this year ends, I have high hopes for 2015.

Hopes that suddenly, everyone will have an a-ha moment. An a-ha that realizes we need something else. Something different. An a-ha that knows we are meant for more than what we have been content with living.

Hopes that, this new year, shooting up schools and shooting up veins will no longer be the go-to solution for long unanswered cries for help and understanding.

Hopes that, this new year, the Battle of the Sexes will run out of ammunition.

Hopes that, this new year, we will see through skin colours, to the hearts and minds that brew underneath. Every culture and race has its heroes and assholes; let’s stand up and recognize. I repeat: PEOPLE ARE MORE THAN THEIR SKIN AND REPUTATION AND STEREOTYPE. CHECK. YOURSELF.

Hopes that, this new year, toddlers and teenagers on the brink of dreams and inspiration – adults burned low on chips and bills – elderly melting on the ice floes of their last lives – will all be valued and held accountable and loved for who they are.

Hopes that, this new year, the corrupt will be exposed and the honourable will be exalted.

Hopes that, this new year, these words will ring true:

“And in despair, I hung my head
‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said.
‘For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men….’
Then rang the bells more loud and deep,
God is not dead nor doth he sleep!
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

Let it be so.

:: A Year in my BFF’s Life ::

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9 thoughts on “This New Year

  1. Alright. I won’t go so far as to say that 2014 was a terrible year for me, because it wasn’t. Nothing tragic happened, and while a close friend of one of my close friends passed away, somehow we managed to get through it with some hope and joy for life still in tact. If anything that event made me realize how important my close friends are to me, and it made me contemplate just what kind of a person I would want to be remembered as. This has led me to think more about how and when I choose to show love to other people, and I think it will be an ongoing thought process heading into 2015.

    Looking back, I think that the greatest struggle I have had this year has been with myself. There are many times when I could have chosen to be joyful but didn’t, when I could have done or tried something exciting and new but let fear stop me. Because of this I felt “stuck” for much of the year, and I didn’t know what to do about it. In a way I still have no idea what is next for me as I search for work and wonder about where I want to go with my life, but I don’t want to let that stop me anymore.

    In 2015 I want to try more things, to build a better community for myself, and to not be ashamed of the things that I love and enjoy doing. I have always yearned for approval from other people, and while such approval can be helpful I realize that is no way for me to live. In 2015 I want to set goals for myself and actually care about achieving them, I want to use my time more wisely and put more effort into things that matter. I want to be there for people and to love them, and to maybe eventually mentor other people like me and be a someone that people want to look up to. I want to reflect God’s image as much as I can and not be ashamed, and to trust that He has good things in store for me.

    I’ll leave it at that for now, but I hope to add many more things throughout this year and throughout my life. As my favourite poster says, “Life is short! Live your dream and share your passion.”

    • It’s been quite the year of transition for you, hasn’t it? Change can be so hard, and it’s very easy to give in to fear or ask “What if?” about stuff that isn’t even close to happening.

      I’m proud of you, and I can’t wait to see what brave steps you take this year. In adventures, in work, in videography, in God, and everything else.Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me! ❤

  2. 2014 was a tough year for me, but I just love your resolution to lose weight! That is exactly the kind of weight I want/need to lose. (Well, I could probably stand to lose some actual poundage – but that is so insignificant in the scheme of things) 

    • I could stand to lose a few pounds myself, Jana. I just have to remind myself that it’s a sign I’m not starving, therefore I have something to be thankful about! One week into 2015, and already my “resolutions” seem a little impossible, but I’m glad that it resonated with you. I always do better when I know someone else out there “gets” me. 🙂

  3. Hi Carly — I have had years like that, where it was hard to believe that so much could happen, so much hurt, too much to bear. I had a lot of wonderful things happen in 2014 but it also felt like I was swimming upstream the whole way due to depression. Let’s hope 2015 brings better things for us both, darling. I’ll take a Venti Americano with an extra shot and about 2 fingers of room for cream. And a ginger molasses cookie, warmed up, if you don’t mind. And don’t burn the shots, please! Put a little water in the cup. Cheers, darling.

    • Swimming upstream is a good way to put it. No wonder we can get so tired. *le sigh* Better things for us both, yes please.

      Even though Starbucks is no longer with me, I can still make a mean quad Venti Americano with room just for you. ❤ And I will LEARN how to make fresh ginger molasses cookies even if I have to go on Pinterest to do it! 😉

  4. This is beautiful. ‘All the shit we’ve gone through recently, we can finally say, “That happened last year.”’ – Yes. Let’s look forward to This one, and not go out, despite all the water in the world.

  5. I am sooooo late to the game here, but I loved reading this. I think there should be a day every year (probably in the first three months of it) where we all have to go back and read whatever it was we wrote, declared, or resolved for the start of the year– just to refresh us and get our minds back to that moment of clarity. I know I wrote something about something with life and change and hope and something something so I too should probably go back to that.

    I hope your 2015 has been awesome so far and continues to grow in awesomeness. <– don't ever let anyone tell you I'm not super deep and intellectual, with statements like that.

    • I’m honoured you tracked this down!

      I absolutely agree – it’s so easy to make resolutions and promises in the passion and inspiration of the moment – and then completely forget and not change much at all. Maybe not good to dwell on the past all the time, but if you’re going to, use it wisely to help you remember to become a better future person.

      My 2015 has been pretty good so far; although I will not have lived properly until I see/hear all pictures/stories from the Wedding of the Year. #yours

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