The Art of Mirriam Neal

//waving to the old year

It’s hard to believe 2015 is wrapping up. In some ways, the year has felt very short and in other ways, it’s felt very long. It’s a year I’m grateful for, but I’m also ready to put it behind me and start afresh. It’s funny how entering a new year gives you a renewed sense of purpose, a feeling of inspiration. I’m not one for making resolutions, but I do set a new word for myself every year – a word to embody the year ahead, a word that indicates what I want to learn, how I want to grow, what I want to fill the next 365 days with.

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2015 was probably the toughest year of my life, and also the best. The dark moments were very dark, and they allowed the stars to shine all the brighter. I bonded with the two best friends I’ve ever had; amazing, creative, opinionated women who love Christ and inspire me every single day. Fighting certain battles made me stronger in so many areas. Creative skills increased, I got a publishing deal, I adopted four gorgeous college daughters, and I learned. Oh, did I learn.

I learned to be comfortable in my own skin and to be unabashedly who I am. I realized that just because someone views you a certain way does not mean their view is correct. I learned that you can be a bold, enthusiastic nerd who loves things, and that it does not affect your maturity or responsibility in any way. It doesn’t matter if someone looks at my enthusiasm and chalks it up to immaturity – someone’s opinion of me is not who I am. I learned that my past only matters insomuch as I learn from it, and it does not define who I am. I learned that guilt is not from God and regret is the best teacher. I learned that life hurts and hearts break, but pain doesn’t last forever. I learned that scars are the best conversation-starters and I learned it’s not a bad thing to be soft, to be easily touched, to cry and laugh. I learned that I have amazing, star-souled people around me, people I can trust, and I learned that there are people who will have your back rather than stab it.

I learned that I really do have the ability to finish what I start, and that writing things down on my hand is necessary if I’m going to remember it, and I learned that I’m really very fine turning down dates. My understanding of human nature deepened, and my faith in God strengthened in ways I never thought imaginable. Really, everything I learned can be summed up in this post.

I don’t have my word for 2016 yet, but I will by the first of January. Here’s to a sparkling, wondrous new year. Key word ‘new.’

 

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