“I can’t wait till exams are over so that I can process this semester,” I repeated over and over again just a few weeks ago, when the flash cards still piled high.
Exams finally came to an end one Monday afternoon, and I threw myself into a lump for twelve straight hours. I couldn’t think, cry, or dream–just sleep.
I packed, and journeyed home, still just as tired. I packed my journal with plans to write out the feelings from these hard, long, but learning months.
The weeks of holiday time have nearly come and gone now. I’ve had more energy than expected and I’ve barely touched the journal. The time to process came, but I didn’t take it. Instead I baked cookies and volunteered, wrapped Christmas presents, and saw friends. There was hardly time to write.
But I’ve been sharing bits and pieces of my story, here and there, for those who wish to hear. Because “how was your semester?” cannot be answered completely in one or two words. Neither can, ” how was your year?”
A year, twelve months, 365 days. That is a long time. The changes one experiences in that space may not be summed up in a one sentence response. And so here I am, with no words to contain my 2014 recap. Because it’s not a recap and there are not enough words.
I took a long walk today, the first of many, I expect. I thought about someone else–a character in a new play, the character I’m playing. I thought her thoughts and about her dreams. Failed or beginning. But they were mine as much as they were hers.
It took me a long time to get around to this walk. I was supposed to do it, but I procrastinated day after day, hour after hour. I guess deep down I knew it would be me processing about me and I wasn’t ready for that. I keep saying, “I’m not ready.” Making up excuses. But I have to start somewhere.
But if I begin, will there be an ending?
You see, we don’t want to remember, and we don’t want to forget.
I’m not going to recap because there aren’t enough words, but if I were to summarize 2014, this is what I’d say:
It began quietly for me, wrapped in warm blackents on someone else’s couch. I’d spent the night with my friend, Sarah and her family, watching a bunch of movies–North Anger Abbey, August Rush, and My Fair Lady. The New Year came and we acknowledged it. On our sixth cup of tea, and too much chocolate.
I came home, and began a new semester. Classes, and two great parts in a Shakespeare play. And that was the semester I wrote my own play about a girl and a garden and a man who became her mentor.
Summer. I got my first car and a new job. Then, with a few stories piled behind me, I went back to my old job, and learned more heartbreak and more joy, from other people and myself. I turned twenty, and moved into my first apartment. I took more classes, and stage managed a show, even though I didn’t want to. My favourite classes became New Testament Studies and Directing–the two I didn’t want to take.
Now the year is ending, cuddled up in a warm sweater, and writing on my laptop. Festivities are coming shortly to ring this old year out, but for now I’m making an attempt to process it all.
As I write about last year, I’m reminded of all the things I didn’t know. All the discoveries. The joys and the griefs. I’m only learning now that I got really scared for that Shakespeare play and that fear was what held me back in rehearsals. In these past few months, I’ve learned that I’m that girl in that garden I wrote about, though I naively fought it in the writing process. This summer I learned to have more grace as I saw people as people, more and more. And while I never asked to be a stage manager, it was exactly what I needed when I needed it.
This year, there was so much growth. So much grace. So much love.
I still can’t recap it all.
I visited my old Facebook profile picture from a few hours after midnight on January 1st, 2014. It was a picture my friend, Sarah had taken last year, this time, as we were ringing in the new year together then.
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” – Carl Sagan…
was the quote beside it because I thought it sounded nice and fit with the whole “new years theme.” Little did I know how true it was.
Something–many somethings and many someones, too–was were waiting to be known. And I got to know them only on the adventures of 2014. But the processing isn’t over yet.
Tonight, I say good-bye to 2014, but the reaping from it’s harvest, I’ll continue to remember, to cherish, and process.
Somewhere near, something beautiful is almost ready to be known.