Yesterday was a weird day. I woke up and everything was fine. Showered and got dressed, and everything was fine. Got to work and everything was fine. Had been at work about an hour and everything was still fine, but then all of a sudden – I was anxious. Full on knot-in-the-pit-of-my-stomach-I’ve-got-a-bad-feeling-about-this anxious. And I had no idea why. And I couldn’t shake it. All day. I did ask for prayer backup in the late afternoon and that took the edge off, but by the time I got home, all I wanted to do was go lay on the living room floor and pray. And journal. I felt like I really needed to journal. So I really needed to find my journal. Because it had been awhile. Well over a year according to the date on my last entry. And as I read through those last recorded thoughts from August 2015, it was eerie how similar the thoughts I had on that day were to the realities of yesterday.
- All The Single Ladies. In 2015 it was a ministry idea proposal I had written up and submitted in hopes of helping my church change the conversation around singlehood and single women. I had high hopes for it and was asking God to help it get off the ground. Yesterday… I had just gotten a text message setting up a meeting, to talk about getting a ministry off the ground in 2017… to change the conversation around singlehood and single women.
- “Leaving Nazareth”. In 2015, it was a script idea that I was telling myself to get off my ass and get writing because I thought it could do really well. Yesterday, it was a script I was reminding myself to get off my ass and finish because it actually has a deadline coming up in January. And I still think it could do really well.
- Some guy. In 2015, I was trying to make sense of some conflicting signals coming from a conflicted character. “What is this? Where are we? Is he…” Yesterday, I was not thinking about him (or anyone) AT ALL. I only added this here to laugh at myself and THANK GOD for the prayers that He answers with “Nope.”
- Any minute now… for a few different reasons, on that day in 2015 I was convinced that my life could completely change for the better at any moment. I was so full of hope, practically just waiting for the phone to ring with an offer, a “yes” or some kind of recognition that was going to change the game for me. Yesterday, knowing that call never came (yet) I realized that I still had that hope…
Here’s the thing. Judging by the amount of Facebook statuses I’ve seen begging 2016 to just be over already, it’s a pretty safe bet to say that it wasn’t the year most of us imagined. By pretty much all measurable standards, 2016 has been a garbage year. A dumpster fire of epic proportions. And pretty much everyone will be happy to close it out. Myself included… but also… I’m not mad at 2016. And I think when a lot of us look back at all the bad, the worst and the ugly that happened, if/when 2017 is better – it’ll be because of seeds that were planted and roots that went deeper in all the sadness, the madness and the chaos.
I’ve been struggling a lot lately because I’ve been comparing my progress with the progress of the people around me. Friends have been moving and starting companies and getting roles and doing shows, and yes they’ve been working hard and struggling, but they’ve been having visible triumphs. And meanwhile… I haven’t done anything. This has easily been my least visible year. No shows, no internet presence, no nothing. And that definitely wasn’t the plan. I recorded things this year. That never went public. I wrote things this year. That just didn’t go anywhere. I even filmed things this year. That were never edited and never released. In fact, yesterday, I tried to turn the tide – tried to set up a rendezvous to get already shot footage so I could edit it myself and get it released in 2016. “No problem, how about Monday?” said my friend (and The Universe). So okay. That’s a wrap for me in 2016. There will officially be nothing to write home about in this year.
And that’s okay. Because all that footage, all those songs, all that writing — it still exists. And a lot of it will (hopefully) find its footing and find a place in 2017. And you know what else will probably show itself in 2017? A lot of the lessons learned and the growth and strength that were required in 2016.
All month I’ve been encouraging myself and the people I know not to count 2016 out just yet. As long as there are still minutes left in this year, there is still possibility, anything can still happen. And as we’re literally in the last days of it, I still believe it’s true. And while I’m not counting out the possibility of a life changing phone call or encounter, I’m more aware than ever that the greatest power to change my life forever, for the better is in my own hand… it might be in what I choose to do today. Or it could have been in something I did yesterday. Or maybe in something I wrote 2 weeks ago. Or filmed months ago. I don’t know.
I just know our lives are changing all the time. Moving closer to the big moments that we’ll remember as milestones, but milestones take miles to get to. So we shouldn’t count ourselves out or discount the quieter days (months/years) of our journey.
However this year was for you, I pray that 2017 is better, but I hope that you don’t buy into the idea of 2016 as a total loss. I bet you’ve grown more than you realize, learned more than you know and are better, faster, stronger than you think. And it’s not for nothing. It’s for whatever’s next. And it’s gonna be great. Any minute now…