I do not know how much can change over the course of one year.  Except, I do.  The start of 2012 had me working, living and going to school in Portland - a city I loved ferociously.  And when I say ferociously, I mean:  You can laugh at Portlandia if you want to, but it's all true, and it's what I love about the area.  It's not for everybody.  But, in my own mainstream, straight laced, could never be called a hipster but I sure did want to raise chickens in the city way, it was definitely for me.

My out of control schedule had me interning in NE Portland at a community outpatient mental health clinic, racing downtown to catch the bus up my job at OHSU and driving to PSU several times a week for school.  It was exhausting.  I miss it dearly.  I miss Portland dearly.  I miss my dear therapy/advocate/social work/radical social change friends in Portland dearly.


I finished school.
Moved to Pullman.  (Pullman is 6 hours away from Portland and one state up).
Got a dog.
Got married.
Got a job.
Bought a house.

And now I'm a little tired.  2012 taught me more than I would have thought about myself.  Other people.  Shoes.

It was another year of astonishing Grace.  You think you're going to get down to the bottom of that crazy Grace barrel by a crazy Grace giver and then ... you just never do.  It was another year of being astounded by what Shoes and I are capable of.  This crazy man and I have been together for four years.  I'm pretty sure we can conquer the world.  (Just like we are all capable of conquering the world.) (We are not capable of successfully training the puppy out of our dog, though.  I think that's still ok, though, because she IS still a puppy.)

It was most definitely another humbling year of being blown  away by the healing and change my clients are capable of.    The things they teach me about love and forgiveness (and honestly, boundaries, too!) are indescribable.  (And if I tried to describe them, I'd probably be violating confidentiality.)  One of the hardest professional lessons I've starting to barely grasp this year is that people's work belongs to them.  I can give my best, most humane, most empathetic clinical self .... and the fact of the matter is:  people change when they are ready to change.  As one of my dear Chemical Dependency co workers said last week:  "We're not responsible for people's successes or failures."  And then Shoes, when I told him  that, said, "I guess it's up to all of us to define what "success" or "failure" is."

(I live in this strange world where other humans teach me about human life.  Is that true for you as well?)

I don't know how to pack any more into one year, but apparently, other people do -- the people who continue to ask Shoes and I when we are going to produce a miniature human.  I don't know the answer to that, and just thinking about it makes me want to flop down on the floor and whine, "I can't take anymore!"  Suffice it to say, we do not believe it is in the cards for 2013.   We are, with quiet appreciation, looking forward to a year of restoration and establishment.

2013, here's what I'd like to meet you with:  more grace;  more compassion;  more love;  more humility;  more understanding; more laughter; more zeal.  More radical acceptance.  More nonjudgmental empathy.  Nonjudgmental empathy and love are probably the biggest cries of my heart right now:  daily encounters with people in which I look for their true, most authentic selves.  Taking care of myself, sure, but also putting aside myself so that people understand that I genuinely believe in them (and gathering support from people who are dear to me.  Another hard lesson:  not everybody, no matter how fond I am of them, is capable of giving the support I genuinely need.)  Do I have actual goals?  Sure.  But I'm beginning to think more it's who I am as I try to meet those goals that's the important piece here.

And here is my wish for 2013 for you:
That you would know what you want from this year.
That you will  have support as you go forward.
That you will know and experience for yourself love and unconditional respect.
That you would listen to the soft, secret whispers of your own heart.
That you would meet yourself (all of you - even the parts you are most afraid of) with the most tender compassion.
In 2013, be blessed.


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