12: I hosted my first art show. It was very small and private, but I loved it. I felt very Bette Porter, and it gave me a glimpse into a possible new career venture. One that, as of February 4th, 2013, is looking more like a reality for me.
11: Letting go of my ex. She still does and always will have a place in my heart, but she no longer has a monopoly on it.
10: I know I have at least two real friends in my life that live in Atlanta. In a city full of veneers (it’s called “Black Hollywood” for several reasons), this is a huge deal.
9: I have developed an appreciation for Louisville. I miss the roads (because the ones here are crap), I miss the light traffic, I miss being able to get anywhere in town in under 40 minutes. I miss my friends. And I miss Havana Rumba. It’s much better than Papi’s. Louisville is not home, and I have no intentions of ever moving back, but it has a special love/hate place in my heart.
8: This is the first year in a while in which I don’t feel all this internal conflict about being a mom. Once I realized that motherhood in and of itself is a constant state of conflict, I began to feel a strong sense of balance. I am more sure of myself as a woman, a friend, an artist, and that has helped me to grow as a mother. I hope to meet more moms in 2013. Support circles are a necessity.
7: That said, Chicken and Bean. Chicken has grown to be such a beautiful, thoughtful, goofy, intelligent young lady. I pray for her daily. Being a long-distance parent, especially of a young woman, especially your first-born, is a lot harder than one could imagine. But the distance has helped us to reconfigure our relationship in a way that is healthy for the both of us. Both she and Bean have helped me check my need to control at the door. Especially Bean. That girl is the reason for my smile, and all the silent screams of insanity behind it. I look forward to watching her grow into the immovable force that she already knows she is.
6: This is the first romantic relationship in which I’ve allowed myself to take things one day at a time. On occasion, we play “fast forward” and it’s fun, but living in the present and allowing ourselves to get to know each other (and get to know ourselves through each other) is an amazing experience.
5: I still haven’t cut my locs. For those of you who know how I am with my hair, this is a huge deal. I do think 2013 will be the year, though.
4: Performing on stage for the first time in 10 years. I was so freaking nervous, each night, each time I went on stage. But I loved every minute of it. It taught me to embrace my vulnerabilities, and drop the constant pursuit of perfection. It reminded me that I LOVE performing, that I am an artist.
3: Seeing Cassandra Wilson in concert. She walked on stage and tears that I didn’t know I could shed anymore fell right out of my eyes.
2: My Daddy and I are closer than we’ve been in a VERY long time, if ever. I don’t even really know how it happened, we just kind of slowly walked into a healthier relationship. I think we both had to admit and let go of a lot of things, past hurts, past faults, etc. We’re still not the Huxtables, but I’m so so so so very glad to have him in my life. We are spending Thanksgiving together in 2013 and I can’t wait.
1: This year I finally learned how to be audaciously me. I have been working up to it for the past few years, but this year I felt it come into play in a way I never have before, and now I can never go back. I will say no when I mean no, and be okay with it. I will not apologize for my relationships with my friends, lovers, or other. I will rest when I’m tired. I will remind myself that I am enough, I do enough, and I have enough. Some may call it stubborn, set in my ways, whatever. I finally love all that I am, all that I’m growing to be, and all that I will never be. And nothing beats that….cept swimming in the ocean. Which I will do in 2013.