Next, a young girl in the little know-one-know-all community we'd created back home in Windhoek committed suicide. I didn't know her well, but I knew that that occurrence shook the earth under the feet of the teenagers who were close to her. I liked to call them the "BB's of our little community" because they were about two to three years younger than me. I guess we're never too young to experience the tragedies of death and sadness.
A couple of weeks followed and then I got the news that my aunt had died. She was ill. No one had told me. I cried, and then I moved on.
The year opened up as a mecca of misfortune and pain, and in all honesty, it is likely to end that way too. None the less, this is not a post about my sadness and the things that make me cry at night, it is an avenue for me to explore the positive experiences and greatest moments of my year.
This year saw the majority of my growth, it saw me come into my maturity, and it encaptured the process of me becoming fully and unapologetically myself.
2k14 blessed me with friends who loved me enough to entertain the idea of making a whole week out of my birthday. It introduced me to individuals I did not initially approach because of my bad habit of casting a judgement on a book based on its cover. I can only thank them for being the part of my life that entertained and joined in on my craziness. They have been my rock, helped save me from myself; and helped me understand what it means to live, to persevere and to know that a good outcome is always in the distance.
The year blessed me with the courage and self-assurance to put myself forth to people rather than coup myself up in my own shell. It allowed for a spontaneous Facebook post about Spring break, that resulted in a spontaneous trip to Chicago; the city that I've come to adore and intend on spending a good portion of my life in. That led to a relationship developing between individuals who I know are my soul sisters and a "Tribe" I will forever belong to. These people helped me learn to be comfortable with myself, see the beauty in myself and keep my head up. Thank you for letting me know that when it comes to my feelings and emotions, it's ok to dive into the deep end and perhaps have abit of a hard time keeping my head above the water. The most important thing is that I keep trying to keep my head above the water, and with friends like you, swimming out to the shore for Corona's on the beach becomes easy to do. That Chicago trip taught me a lesson about putting myself out there, approaching people and capitalizing on my spontaneity. It taught me that there are people on the same wavelength as myself, and it brought me to them.
The individuals I've met have taught me lessons on being a strong, independent and persevering woman and every day that I was surrounded by them was a new learning curve. They've opened my eyes up to the reality of what I am and what I experience and they've helped me learn how to harness my strength, despite how little it might be sometimes, and turn that into dynamite; a force to be reckoned with.
A huge part of that dynamite also includes being able to let go of people's judgement of me or the ideas they conjure when they judge my cover before they've read my pages. This group of people have helped me learn to go forth as I am, and that those who matter will be around when they need to be. I never knew that I could be so certain that my one call from jail will never go unanswered despite where in the world I'm calling from, if that call is made to them.
It took me nineteen years to find a tribe of people that have undoubtedly made me feel like I was part of a truly loving, judgement free and supportive group of friends. So much so that each and every one of them have become family and interacted quite personally with my nuclear family despite meeting them via a computer screen while sitting in a dorm room 7 270 miles away.
Between Illinois and Wisconsin for spring break; lake house shenanigans and Jewish frat party mishaps, and a 9mm gun pointed at my face in Tennessee, so many extraordinary memories have been made during this year. From high times in California to low times in New York; I wouldn't change a day in the face of 2k14.
All I can do now is let go and let love. The next year will be one continued to be filled with growth, adventure and new journeys. I want to enter it with an open heart and the courage to realize that the inevitability of change is a matter that should no longer make me cry. I move forth, letting go of those whose paths have gone completely perpendicular of mine, and keeping close to my heart those who are on their paths and their journeys parallel to mine, separated only by a brief amount of distance. With energy being everything, I can only hope that mine is granted positivity and strength to carry me threw the tides of the new journey I am about to embark on,
....and for you, I hope positivity, prosperity and genuine joy; even if it comes momentarily, even if it comes fleeting. Live your life to be entertained by even the smallest, most insignificant moments of joy as those are seemingly becoming more and more rare.