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