"Have you learned the lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you? Have you not learned great lessons from those who braced themselves against you, and disputed passage with you?" Walt Whitman
Another year has come and gone, I cannot believe it. This year was definitely one to remember in a variety of ways. This posts marks the 7th birthday of this blog. 812 posts, 1.2M words, and just over 425K pageviews - it has been an absolute journey. I have learned a great deal through writing, and having this space to process through my experiences, what I glean from others, and the world in general has been remarkable. I cannot believe that I have stuck with this for so long, and even more so that I have no plans of stopping any time soon. This blog has meant so much to me. I don't really know who I would be without it to look back it, reflect, and see who I have become, and who I want to be. I am immensely grateful for this space to just be, and to be free, to be unchained, to be unfiltered, and to be authentically me. I have been able to be part of so many different communities because of this blog. I have found others that resonate with me, make me safe, and make me feel whole. I have found a place to let my guard down, to breathe, and to be at peace. With that being said, I want to share my annual tradition of my favorite posts from the year.
Favorite Posts of 2017:
In doing this selection process I realized there have been five or so distinct themes that summarize what I've been experiencing and been most salient for me this year. Navigating emerging adulthood has been quite the process and as I'm learning this mind-blowing lessons about figuring it out as I go, being able to ask questions, building new friendships, creating work-life negotiation, etc. I have found that other people are going through the same things. Then there's friendships specifically and how mine have changed dynamically as priorities change, intentionality becomes important, and people need me to show in different ways. Dating/relationships have been some of my most popular because new age dating is an adventure with way too stories to not share. Handling rejection in all its forms, being comfortable in the self, and being unprepared for dating in general have been some realizations I've made this year. Last but not least my most radical posts on social issues spanning from race/racism, queer identities, sexism/misogyny and feminism, to xenophobia, emotional labor, mental health - it's been a year where I've had to do a lot of self-work but also been able to welcome others to critical dialogues around thins that impact all of us. If you want to read those those reads check them out below.
Social Issues: Skin, Agency, Black, Liberation, Absolution, Help, Mourning, Labor
Dating/Relationships: Single, Ghosted, Looking, Fizzle, UnDateable, Unprepared, Unlike
Friendships: Drift, Commune, Curious, Outgrowth, Explicit, Checker
My biggest lessons from this year - choose you and choose you as often as you are able; give grace to yourself and others to make mistakes + know that people are trying their best (most of the time); relationships in all forms are choice - we have to choose people daily and prioritize them; change comes through connection and connection comes dialogue - we have to build community; and lastly, we are enough as we are ... always, always, always.
I want to say thank you for following along with my life story. I am so appreciative of your time and effort in taking in my words and photography. It's been deeply moving that people have had major revelations, found some comfort, or had a laugh because of my stories. What a gift it is to be able to do something you love and for others to be able to partake in that passion along with you. This blog would not nearly be as special without you all. Thank you for the commentary, feedback, sharing, etc. Be sure to subscribe to always keep up to date, and I hope to connect even more with you in the next year of blog posts. My social media is on the homepage. Thanks for being part of my life story, and for allowing me and my blog to be part of yours. X