The final hour of 2015 seems as good a time as any to do a mandatory debriefing of the year. December and I cannot wait to clean out 2015 from under my nails. It was a bitch right up until the very end.

I cannot say it was ALL bad. There were some very notable moments. I passed the EPPP and subsequently became a licensed psychologist in Massachusetts. I took up painting. I raised close to $1,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association doing the walk in September. Tiger and I are both (relatively) healthy. I have a job I love and friends/family that I can bear my soul to and feel loved and accepted.

Other adjectives for 2015 include… snowy, snowy, and snowy. I didn’t think I would ever shovel out some days. It finally melted in July.

Unfortunately, my dad treated me very badly this year. Betrayal and secrets and losing faith in someone you looked up to as a child. The silver lining is the incredible growth I’ve experienced as a result. Lessons in independence, forgiveness, transcendence, courage, and humility.

I parted with my car. And my pride. And my false/unusually high expectations. Life is all about letting go.

Things with my mother continue to deteriorate… However thankless it was, I can move into 2016 knowing that I did my best to provide her with the very best birthday, Thanksgiving (with her two brothers), and Christmas that I could. It will never feel like enough, but it needs to be.

I said goodbye to my loving, strong, graceful grandmother. I miss her everyday. I strive to be her everyday. I do things I feel would honor her life, and from time to time I feel her presence.

2015 was quite possibly the most trying year yet. It contained some of the most difficult hurdles in terms of financial, emotional, and health-related events. This may be a year where the best I can do is be thankful that I’m still standing at the end of it. The licensing process bled me dry. And there are still too many debts to pay, vet appointments to schedule, colitis symptoms to manage, prescriptions to fill, rent checks to worry about, memory care facilities to research and tour, and life decisions to be made.

That being said, many things have been put into their place in preparing to welcome in 2016. Relationships that needed to end have been ended. Relationships that needed to heal have been… somewhat mended. Roommates have moved out. Licenses have been attained. Gifts and gratitude have been given. I have cleaned out the clutter and put as many “things” in their proverbial place as possible.

In terms of expectations for 2016… I am super excited to finish out my postdoc. I absolutely love it. I haven’t made any decisions about what will happen after that (September-ish), but I do believe that it will. be. good. Again, I have wonderful friends and family and there is love and light. I find that again and again, I am able to create that feeling of home for myself. I am progressing from that feeling of “rootless” to… rootful?

Life is unfolding and I will feel and follow it.


December 15, 2003 I started cutting.

Since then, I’ve stopped cutting, gotten out of a verbally abusive relationship,taught homeless people to read, danced, graduated from college, prevented a suicide, rekindled family relationships in Colorado, traveled,  understood, earned my masters, started playing guitar and songwriting, laughed, formed some of my best friendships, adopted a cat, defended, earned my doctorate, loved, secured my dream job, moved my life 300 miles to Boston, grieved, celebrated, financially supported myself, became a long-distance caregiver, survived the worst winter, played dozens of open mics, forgave, raised nearly $1000 for Alzheimers, healed, studied, softened, and started to realize my own inherent sense of worthiness.

Today, 12 years later, I became a licensed psychologist.

Whatever your dream, whatever your difficulty… keep going.

“O, do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks! Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle. But you shall be a miracle. Every day you shall wonder at yourself, at the richness of life which has come to you by the grace of God.”

didn’t realize it until today, but this week marks the one year anniversary of… a lot. the hurt has been there… a long time. i thought it would be better by now. i thought it would be worse. trying not to relive it and hoping i won’t.

soon kiley will play her first open mic. mine was a year ago this friday. what a whirlwind. how jess cooked me pasta and listened to me play in her living room. then we drove to saxby’s where you spent your time writing your dissertation. the room was sunny and painted yellow. and so began a short-lived tradition of drinking chai tea and water before performing. of introducing songs. of being brave.

that next day… a broken car and my last day at the internship from hell and coming up for air and crying so hard i couldn’t breathe. relief takes many forms, i suppose. you bought a case of beer (only on PA) for your friend’s birthday. then, you broke up with me. relief takes many forms.

the following day i played my first showcase. jubilee. shoreline. brace your heart. i have braced mine many times in the past year.

god i hope kiley’s first go-around goes around more smoothly.

awesome things to be thankful for this week:

– receiving pictures of mom at the shore with carolyn
– playing my first open mic in months, feeling like i still have “it,” and being approached by lots of cool people afterward (including a personal favorite!)
– a mindfulness lecture that may finally have me sold on this whole movement
– a lunch date (that i had to turn down… but you asked!)
– feeling busy and caught up at work
– runninggggg (later today)
– imminent and likely well-attended wine and cheese parties!
– updating the music on my phone and finding a new-ish Guster album that I didn’t know I had
– feeling better physically, eating better (or trying to, anyhow)
– getting my ish together re: songwriting
– being competent at fixing a lock, defogging my windows, and picking out a father’s day card
– sunny days