In much the spirit of this year I’m surfacing just in time to say hello and farewell to 2017, a whirlwind year - literally.
Allow me to explain. On September 10th I survived a direct hit from Hurricane Irma.
I was born and raised in the Midwest. I grew up with tornadoes. I know tornadoes. I LOVED watching Helen Hunt chase after them in Twister. Somehow this Midwesterner eventually ended up in Florida and has since learned that hurricanes give her paralyzing anxiety. I will take a tornado ANY day over a hurricane.
While your eyes bulge out in disbelief, let me make my case:
- No one drowns in a tornado.
- Tornados are not bigger than your state.
- Tornados do not torment you a week in advance with an epic game of chicken.
- Petrified friends and family don’t call you around the clock before a tornado.
- You don’t agonize over evacuating, whether you can afford it, or risk losing your job for a tornado.
- Tornados don’t knock out power to most of your state.
- Tornados don’t hover over you for hours.
- There isn’t a run on gas, water, batteries, and non weird flavored Oreos before a tornado.
- No radio personality claims that tornados are a liberal hoax to sell gas and bottled water.
- Tornados don’t lead to a mass state migration that gridlocks roads for days.
- Tornados don’t have names that get retired if they’re destructive and deadly enough.
So yeah, tornados. I pick tornados.
Which leads me to my next big 2017 event. My husband and I decided to move…to New Orleans. I know. Yes, I KNOW.
We have family in New Orleans! (AND there are a lot more directions to head in case of a hurricane.) Also, NEW ORLEANS!!! New Orleans that beautiful gumbo of people, music, food, art - the city that celebrates LIFE. There also happens to be an awesome local art supply shop that I look forward to visiting on a dangerously frequent basis…
Other 2017 highlights -
I have a voice! I know shit and I can use my voice to talk intelligently and passionately about that. I get to be angry. And I get to be fucking furious at broken penises who insist they know what’s best for my lady bits while also telling me I’ll bankrupt the country if I have healthcare. I used my voice to call congresspeople more times than I can count this year. I, a person with severe social anxiety, went to my first town hall. I, a person with severe social anxiety, taught a weekly English literacy class to an ever changing group of stunningly beautiful immigrants.
This year I learned about privilege. I learned that I have it. I thought only rich people had privilege. Nope. Turns out my pale Irish skin is its own privilege. (I’d always considered it a liability, especially in the Sunshine State.) But in this world, despite our ideals, the color you’re born with marks you and can determine its course before you’re even aware of it. I’m privileged to have a mostly functioning body. There are many forms of privilege. Privilege has nothing to do with how hard you work or what you’ve personally had to overcome. It’s about the norms society accepts with the least amount of resistance. It’s about your amount of otherness.
I didn’t blog regularly, or as often as I would have liked this year. But I prioritized my health and sanity and took time to reorient myself. (Also. Did I mention I survived a direct hit from my FIRST fucking hurricane?!)
I’m excited for 2018! I plan to paint and write and SHARE. I’ve been playing around with my mirrorless camera Oly so you’ll be subjected to what I discover there too. I want to show you what I’m learning and why I find it fascinating, in the hopes that you’ll be fascinated and inspired too. I’ll be talking about my favorite tools, trying new supplies and posting reviews. And I want to hear from you. I want to see what you’re creating and what you’re excited about!
What are your 2018 aspirations?