best of alpha // whiskey // foxtrot

2015, in Five Favorite Posts: a Year in Review

Moment of honesty?  For me, 2015 was a disorienting 365 days — full of deep heartache and astounding joy…

I lost.

I lost a lot.

I lost relationships and social circles and beliefs I thought I was destined to keep, and yet somehow, I gained a hundred times that in new friends, new opportunities, rich community, and more goodness and grace than I could have imagined, twelve months ago.

{And maybe I’ll tell you about it someday, but for now … this is enough.}

In the end, all I can say is this:  2015 was sometimes kinda terrifying … and also, it was breathtakingly beautiful.  And I think the tension between the hard and the beautiful shows in my writing.

I’ve spent this first week of 2016 in quiet reflection, and it seemed right to me to distill all my 2015 journal entries into a brief “Best Of” list.  If I had salvage just five little scribblings from the previous year, these are the ones I’d choose:

1.  The Day the Light Overtakes Me

light3

Last October, WordPress surprised me by selecting this personal essay for its Freshly Pressed lineup.  No one ever told me that this (very personal) post would be hitting the big-time; all I knew was that, one afternoon, my stats spiked like never before, and a quiet little blog that had previously seen a few thousand readers per year was now attracting about a gazillion readers per day.

(Clearly, gazillion is an exact number.) 

All kidding aside:  the unexpected attention completely freaked me out.  I felt exposed and vulnerable in ways I hadn’t before … but in the end, it was good for me.

I’m enjoying a return to normalcy these days, but the five minutes of fame (sort-of) was a solid exercise in self-confidence and stamina in the spotlight, and I’m grateful.

2.  Oh, God, give me the words

locusts1

I’m still a little startled by how deeply people connected with this little poem, which I composed in about ten minutes of tinkering in front of the screen.  I received some truly touching e-mails from readers after posting it, and it’s my pleasure to share it again.

3.  On Shadow & Light, Sunshine & Silhouettes… & Seeing My Own Magic

shadow

Sometimes, it’s the little moments…  This post is small, but it’s important.

4.  Sleepless, Under Shooting Stars

awake

I circle back to this diary entry once in awhile, if only to let its magic rub off on me all over again.  Here’s to sparkle, spirit, and everyday wonder… Raise a glass of stardust with me, friends.

5.  When Eating a Peach is an Act of Transcendence 

peach

I won’t say another word.  Just read.

*

And last but not least: If you’re a woman and you’ve ever struggled with insecurity and negative self-image, please, please, please, check out my photography series Same Body, Second Glance:  A Body-Image Project.  The forty days I spent compiling these images changed my life, in deep and profound ways… And then, when I shared them on my blog last spring, they changed my life all over again.

Who knows?  Maybe they’ll change you, too.

day2

*

Thank you — sincerely — to all the sweet loyal readers who helped make my 2015 so beautiful in the midst of the hardship. I’m believing we all have some very special days ahead. ❀    

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30 thoughts on “2015, in Five Favorite Posts: a Year in Review

  1. I’ve read each one of these.

    I’ve also lost a lot in the previous twelve months.

    And I, too, am hopeful for special days ahead.

    I’m also way super thankful to have found YOU and your writing and photography and all that jazz.

    You rock.

    –Steve

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You have a true gift with words and images and I’m so grateful that you’ve shared your year in review with us. I too had a hard, hard year in 2015 but I hope and look ahead, always, to better days for you and for all of us. Thanks again for your beautiful post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed, Miriam. It was a rough summer, but I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful fall and winter … Truly gained so much more than I lost. All I can feel now is gratitude…

      I’m sorry your 2015 was hard. Sometimes I think the Hard pushes us to make room for better things, to reevaluate and recalibrate, and sometimes to begin again. Hoping for lots of beautiful new beginnings for you!! πŸ™‚

      Like

      • Thanks for your kind words and warm wishes. My year was hard largely because my beautiful and once strong and independent mother had two major brain operations which went horribly wrong. And which have changed her and all our lives forever. But I am learning to accept and to cope. And to move forward.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh, Miriam, this makes my heart ache … What you’re describing is its own form of Hard, and I truly can’t imagine.

          I’m so sorry. 😦

          Here’s hoping you feel continually surrounded by a loving community of friends and family who get it and who love you through it. You have such a sweet spirit, and so many kind thoughts to give away — surely, you’ll be receiving a return on that investment as others give back a little sunshine when you need it most.

          Thank you for being here, and for sharing your Beautiful in the midst of the Hard.

          ❀

          Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for that. I’m a language person from birth, I guess … But I’m learning all the time that we are ALL telling stories with our lives, in so many creative and beautiful ways.

      Truly my privilege to share here and to interact with so many great readers. πŸ™‚

      Like

  3. I did not “know” you when you did this oroject, but I am glad I do niow. It took me some time, but I went through all the posts on the 40-day journey…beautiful! Wonderful that you are able to focus on this kind of daily project and share it. A shortcoming for me, but happy for you! It is an inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a kind thing to say — thank you.

      The project was hard for me, but also, so very joyful! Glad you enjoyed, too.

      (& if you ever feel like doing a daily project — yes!! Yes you can! The key is just keeping it simple.)

      πŸ™‚ glad you’re here!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was freshly pressed a bit back, and I got spikes too. Suddenly my followers grew from a few hundred to a few thousand. At first I was intimidated: all of these people, from all over the world, what was they expecting? What kind of posts were they here for? But it soon passed-I just carried on as though I was writing for a handful of friends in the other room. I’m in your kitchen now. Fancy a brew?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. J.N. Atkinson says:

    I think we all foolishly believe we can change our inner selves without losing any of the outer structure. Change is beautiful, and yet – it is also possibly the ugliest, most painful experience to bestow upon oneself. I thank you, my fellow traveler, for adding more beauty to this world. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

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