2018: One Word Resolution

I know this is late, but January got off to a running start for me, and it took me a bit to figure out what One Word I wanted for 2018. It also took me longer to post my year-in-review 2017 over at A Nudge in the Right Direction. Go check that out if you want to see how last year turned out.

My Insta Best 9 for 2017.

Background: for the last few years, I’ve picked one word to be my touchstone for the year to come. The word is less specific than individual New Year’s resolutions, but I like having something broad to guide and center me as I work through 2018.

My word for 2018 is:

GO

My word last year was Rest because of how thin I’d felt going into 2017. Getting rest and self-care is still a priority for me this year (I think ‘tired’ is my new normal), but I also want to pursue things with more passion. Besides, in the past 2 years when I’ve tried to be more focused on resting, I’ve actually found myself feeling both restless and doing more. Playing opposites seems like a common trend in my life.

So I’m resolving to go with the flow. I’ll still practice self-care, but I want to put time and attention to the things I really care about and to going after the things I want. When it comes to the Hamilton-Burr dichotomy as portrayed in the musical, I’ve always been more like Burr – cautious, tight-lipped, and willing to wait for it – but sometimes, you really just have to be Hamilton & take the shot.

This year, I want to be healthier, kinder, stronger, more daring, and more creative.

Like last year, I’ve created a Pinterest board for my word. Hope it inspires you as much as it does me!

What’s your Word for the Year? What goals have you set?

Supplement:
(Music) How Far I'll Go | Moana OST
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The Memory of Objects

It’s a strange thing when you think about what gets left behind when we’re gone. The things we’ve collected, the spaces we’ve occupied – what happens when we are absence and dust?

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Last year, I checked out some estate sales both in search of unique pieces and for fun, but I often left with a peculiar kind of melancholy. I found myself thinking about the people who had owned these items and what kind of significance those things held, if any. I thought about what the remains of what my own life might look like when broken down to the physical things I’d amassed and kept through the years.

When the summer ended and fall came with its changes, it felt like a season of grieving and a season of reflection.

Today, I’m pleased to have Estate Sale out in Polu Texni.

It’s a meditation on my feelings from that summer to fall. It’s about coming to terms and letting go. If you’re going through a tough moment or feeling a bit existential, I hope this poem helps you through it. Physical things aren’t the only things we hold on to.

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Supplement:
(Music) Traveling Song | Ryn Weaver

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By the Water

In the dark, two summers ago, my friends and I stood in my backyard staring up at the night sky. We were trying to catch a glimpse of the Perseids meteor shower, despite the light pollution. It was a new moon, clear out, and the shower was having a peak year. So we thought we might see something.

I honestly can’t remember if we did see anything – maybe one or two streaks of light – but an inkling of a poem had become caught in the orbit of my subconscious. A month later, I started writing.

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Portrait of me by the amazing Kate Trish

NIGHT SWIM is a poem in which I tried to capture a certain experience of my favorite season- lazy heat and silken water, a dark expansive sky, a sense of both possibility and stillness, contentedness.

So I’m pleased to have NIGHT SWIM appear in Liminality’s Issue 12 – Summer 2017.

I hope you enjoy it, and that you’ll take a dip with me.

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Some poem aesthetics.

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The standalone photos (and 1 in the collage) are mine from my winter/spring trip to Iceland.* I swam in the Blue Lagoon in the late afternoon, but earlier in the trip, I did take a night swim at the Secret Lagoon. It was the most magical night of my life, floating in the hot water, watching the aurora borealis literally dance and change colors in long ribbons unfurling overhead. Of course, the only camera I had at the time was my phone.


*Most of the photos in collage not mine -some free use, some Pinterest.
**Special thx to Sarah Goldberg for pushing me on my imagery & diction.

Supplement:
(Music) Meet Me by the Water | Rachel Yamagata
(Music) Details in the Fabric | Jason Mraz
(Music) Stay Low | Ryn Weaver

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2017: One Word Resolution

Just like last year, I’m discussing my One Word Resolution here instead of at A Nudge in the Right Direction. But my year-in-review/Bye 2016 is over there if you want to see all the shenanigans that happened last year! (Spoiler: it was a lot. I did 3 out-of-state trips!)

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Best 9 on my Insta for 2016

Some background: for the last few years, I’ve picked a one word to be my touchstone for the year to come. The word is less specific than individual New Year’s resolutions, but I like having something broad to guide and center me as I work through 2017.

I knew what word I wanted before December was over, but I’ve found Susannah Conway’s free workbook useful in the past, especially if you have no idea or several ideas you’re trying to narrow down.

My word for 2017 is:

REST

It’s funny because in reviewing my 2016 One Word post, I see I picked last year’s word, Intent, because I wanted to save more of my energy while remaining focused. I see now that I really should’ve prioritized the energy-saving part.

Thanks to the dramatic ups and downs of last year, I’m feeling even more stretched thin this January than I did at the start of 2016. And while I know moving forward, there’s only going to be a greater need for vigilance and resistance (I’m American and understandably concerned about the state of my nation), I know I won’t be useful if I’m burnt out. I want to make a stronger effort to protect my “me” time this year.

I don’t regret any of the things I committed to last year, but I know going into this one that I have to set better boundaries when I know I’m running on fumes. Rest is important for health, creativity, and building rebellions. 😉 When I looked to the tarot for guidance, it pretty much told me I needed to rest to truly enjoy things and that I should self-reflect more, look deeper to see what I need.

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Like last year, I’ve created a Pinterest board for my word. Maybe it’ll help remind you to take a break too.

But don’t worry! That doesn’t mean an end to adventures. It just means I will hopefully be managing my time better.

What’s your Word for the Year?

 

Supplement:
(Music) Take a Break | Hamilton OST

Shift

It seems fitting that as the strange, tumultuous year that was 2016 closed, the first poem I wrote in 2016 should step into the fading light of December.

I wrote SKIN in February 2016, out of the gray depths of winter. Perhaps it was a response to a nameless restlessness inside me or the unconsciously absorbed rumblings warning of a fraught time to come, but a very specific story came to me about a being who is constantly searching for something, who loses and finds themselves, who isn’t afraid to change. A shapeshifter.

SKIN” was published in Liminality, a speculative poetry magazine, Issue #10 Winter 2016/17.

I feel so honored to have this poem included in an issue of Liminality that includes so much gorgeous poetry about transformation and fierce determination. I hope you’ll take your time and go through the entire issue. It’s so worth it.

Some poem aesthetics for “Skin.”

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I wrote this poem all at once, and it spurred a creative burst for me early in 2016. It led to my connecting more meaningfully with a few of my writer friends too. I often think of “Skin” as paired with “Susurrus,” which sold right after I found out that “Skin” had been accepted. These 2 poems were my favorites of everything I’d written last year.

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I hope you enjoyed “Skin” and any of my poetry from 2016! I’m still coming out of my shell when it comes to sharing my work, and it’s been scary but worth it. Thank you for sticking around.

There will be more words in this new year! I hope it moves you.

 

*Images in the collages are from my pins on Pinterest. They are not mine.
**Thanks SJM for your feedback & early enthusiasm/encouragement.
***Thanks Alz, Tracey, Sarah G, and Eva always for your feedback & help.

If you enjoy any of my content (poetry or not) and have the means, consider buying me a coffee! Angels will sing of your kindness – or at least, I will.

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