Well, that’s a wrap…2016 came, and in the blink of an eye, went. But unlike so many years before, I am looking back on this one with a big smile on my face. Usually, on New Year’s Eve, I promise myself, that this year I will do something, I won’t sit around, I WILL MAKE SOMETHING OF MYSELF AND MY LIFE – annnd, then I totally don’t, and before I know it, another wasted year is over. 2016, though, was entirely different. It wasn’t at all like the previous ones. This one was full of magic, growth, happiness and a steadfast commitment to fulfilling my dreams. I began chasing the absolute hell out of my dreams, and for the first time in my life believe they are going to come true.
I became a vegetarian again (my angst filled teenage attempt was a modest one at best), but this time it’s for real. When I was ramming stuffing up a turkey’s ass at Thanksgiving and found myself tearing up and apologizing to it over and over again, I knew I was about to head down a new path – a meatless one. I have a big heart for animals, always have, but The Goats of Anarchy, Rhea the Naked Birdie, Marnie the Dog, The Gentle Barn, Esther the Wonder Pig and Susie’s Senior Dogs (just a few of the animals/organizations I follow on Instagram), sent me over the edge and made my decision a no-brainer.
My heart explodes with love and joy when I see new videos and photos of Marnie the Dog. I love the shit out of this little dog. Follow @marniethedog on Instagram.
The night of June 28th was a significant one. I asked myself a question as I sat staring out my window, ‘if you had all the money in the world, Tanya, would you be sitting here right now?’ and the answer was an easy one – no. That was the moment. I decided I was no longer going to wait for life to happen – I was going to make it happen, and I did just that. The next day I gave up my apartment with the idea that I could save money by not paying rent. I took a risk that somehow it would all work out, that I would find a way – and, I have. With the help of friends and trusting strangers, I haven’t looked back. My destiny awaits me and my dream to live somewhere else in this world is within my reach, simply because I said, enough.
I discovered the beauty of 4:30 am sunrises and morning skies lit with moonlight by resisting fatigue and getting my ass out of bed every morning to put in the work necessary to make my biggest dream come true – writing my first novel.
In 2016 I learned that believing in myself holds power and that as long as I believe in me, there is no stopping what I can achieve. I started this blog to help me become a better writer and with the hope that someone would read it. Lucky me, some people do. I very much appreciate the time you take to read it, and the extra time you take to encourage me and offer your support – these things keep me going when my belief waivers or I lose confidence. So, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!
When I was starting my blog, I wasn’t sure if I could just be myself or if some things are no-no’s when it comes to blogging. So, I googled ‘can I swear in a blog?’, and saw things like, ‘keep it clean,’ ‘use symbols,’ ‘swearing will cost you, readers’…I rolled my eyes and thought, well, that’s fucking stupid. So, I kept googling, and that is when my world changed, when I discovered the magical, whacked, inspiring and beautiful world of, Jenny Lawson, aka thebloggess. Jenny not only confirmed that ‘oh yeah’ I can swear, but that I have so much to gain by being open and vulnerable. I immediately followed her blog and bought every book she ever wrote. Her courage and honesty inspire me to stay the course and to keep writing with authenticity and to NEVER compromise myself to please someone else. One day I hope to hide under a table with her (read her books, you will know what I mean) and thank her for the courage she has given me.
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, made me laugh so hard I was concerned I needed to seek immediate medical attention. Read this book, be inspired and laugh your damn head off!
I got a year older, and this year, so did my face. I remind myself every day, though, that wrinkles and growing old are a privilege, and that I am lucky for both.
Nov. 8th taught me that even a big dumb fucking idiot could be voted President. (Dear God, please save us all!) But, as I watch the ensuing chaos unfold, in utter shock and horror, I hold tightly to the belief that goodness still exists and that love can and will overcome. I have to believe this.
In 2016, I tossed the small things to the side and focussed on the big stuff, the shit that really matters. I reached out to a friend my heart would no longer allow me to ignore and together we are repairing a friendship that once was broken. This year I learned that my mistakes don’t define me, that even good people have to feel the weight of shame. I learned to forgive myself and learned to gift my absence to those who need it. I discovered that I am strong, that not only can I endure but can overcome the steepest of obstacles. I found true happiness, and with a heart that is full of love for those around me, I am moving forward.
OHHH, and a pug named Henry came into my life. As my friend says, he left his paw prints on my heart. He most certainly did. I know I did a whole post about him already, but I consider him to be one of my biggest blessings of 2016!
Oh Henry, thank you. xoxo
2016 was good to me, but just to make sure I didn’t forget for a second what matters most, it recently dished out another stark reminder that we are here but for a moment, and that every. second. counts. I didn’t need the reminder, thanks, I already know.
My co-worker, Mick died two years ago, doing what he loved, and his loss had a profound impact on my life. I will never be the same because of him. His philosophy on life was a simple one, to live life with no inhibitions and fearless exuberance. That is exactly what he did, and, this year, I think that is exactly what I did.
To all of you, Happy New Year!
May good health, life, happiness, and love be yours every day in 2017. Remember to live in the moment, to cherish each and every one and know that even in darkness, there is light.
And, I also hope that this year, you find your strength and courage to reach for the impossible and make it possible – because it is.
Much love! xoxo