To Hallie Rose, in Her 29th Year

I started this post by recording my voice and transcribing it.  It was oriented temporally: reflecting on the past year, contemplating the year to come, and acknowledging the present.  The words from the recording are in italics.

I. Reflection

I hope you can find a place to leave what isn’t serving you behind, and that those stubborn things you just can’t shed are carried with compassion.  I hope that you leave room for the beauty that you’ve built and love that has been offered you along the way as well.  It’s good to know where you’ve been.

Today is my last day to be 28.  What a humbling, nearly breaking, opening, and finally encouraging year it has been.  It began in a flurry of busyness, passed through a disquieting lull, silently sliding into a deep depression that I didn’t even see until I was out of it several months later, past a job change which is what shook off the cobwebs and reinvigorated me, through another period of insane busyness, into some much needed travel, and is wrapping up with a meditative, solitary phase of slowly pulling out any remaining threads that tie me to Austin, TX.  

The clearing of the forest took place at 27,  and 28 was about preparing the soil and planting what would become new growth.  Twenty seven was survival.  Twenty eight has simply been endurance.  Patience, steadiness, dedication, planning. 

II. Contemplation

I hope that you can let go.  That you get to a place of gratitude and wholeness.  Where you don’t feel stuck, and you’re not waiting.  I know you always feel you’re just waiting for life to begin, searching for the next step.  It’s good to have an idea of where you’re going.  

Tomorrow I will turn 29.  The last year of my 20’s.  I hope that it is enriching, fun, freeing, and eye-opening.  I’m interested in being present, gracious, and highly productive.  There are a few creative projects and structural changes within my business that I hope to get rolling or complete this year.  

The flame that was reduced to a pilot two years ago has grown steadily, stabilized, and I think I’m ready for the big log.  I’m beginning with a month of balanced discipline for July.  Daily meditation, no alcohol, limits on internet and phone use, and renewed dedication to nature, my body, friends, and my work.  Anything that carries beyond that month I’m happy to have.  The following three months contain some travel, a lot of loose-end tieing, some pretty big decisions, and all the work that comes with them.  I hope to be ready to go by the time November rolls around, which is completely dedicated to the East Austin Studio Tours, packing, and goodbyes.  From there my thorough plan dissipates, and I’m comfortable with the haziness.  I know I want to go west.  I know I want to be home for Christmas.  I’ve got some places in mind.  Surfing is a priority. 

III. Acknowledgement

Amid the remembering and dreaming, I hope that you stay present, first and foremost.  

I’m sitting cross-legged in a chair at a wooden desk.  I’m wearing a soft cotton green dress.  The music from my no-distractions word program is competing with the old pipes from my upstairs neighbor, who is showering.  There are voices outside, one of them a woman who I know to be replacing a fuse in her car in the parking lot.  There are also nighthawks, I hear their peents.  I’m hungry.  I’m alone.  It’s a comfortable temperature in my apartment.  I have a candle burning and some sage smoking.  There’s a pain in the right side of my neck.  I have thoughts.  I’m a little bit tired.  I feel better than I have in a couple of days.