To 2013

As I reflect on the year that’s passed and the lack of many substantial posts on my blog, I think it may be appropriate to chronicle what’s passed in the hopes of springloading my hopes for the future.

To 2013.

2013, you were awesome. It’s been a hell of a year, and I’m thrilled I was along for the ride.

You saw me through earning my MFA. That alone should have been enough.

Yet, you added new cities to the cartography of my life. You took me to Boston and St. Augustine to present research and meet some of my favorite authors. You let me spend a month in Denver learning about publishing, hiking the Rockies, and networking with current and upcoming publishing professionals. When I got back to Florida, you made sure I had a fantastic new job waiting for me, where I’ve been able to challenge myself by utilizing all of the skills I’ve learned over my entire life. And then your surprise addition of a fixer-upper in a south Georgia marsh notified me of a peace and serenity I didn’t even realize I craved.

There were some valleys between peaks, yes; lots of stress and tears. I missed too many milestones–graduation, swearing-in, birthdays, anniversaries. I did some things I never expected to do, like willingly eating vegetables and sushi, amicably reconnecting with an ex, and spending my summer grading standardized tests. I sent out a lot of work and got a lot of rejections–proof I still have room to grow.

New words entered into the lexicon of my life: precinct, burgled, 10-51 10-42. I came to terms with the bitter sweetness of the thin blue line and what it means for me with the five-pointed star and stamped tags jingling around my neck.

And even so, 2013, you were full of invitations! To start a weekly column on comics, to become an assistant graphic narrative editor for one of my favorite lit magazines (in addition to the other editorship I hold), to spearhead the production of a chapbook, to contribute a chapter for an academic text, to submit my work to some of the best publications in my field.

There was also the joy of reacquainting myself with my love of being physical and working with my hands: hiking mountains, painting a house, dusting off the old violin, teaching myself to play ukulele, making an instrument case by hand, jumping back into photography, practicing yoga, running, and finally getting my feet wet with cosplay.

Thanks, 2013. For the books in my palms, the music in my ears, the neurons firing in my head, the moments at my fingertips, and the art in my heart. For all the new friendships, the old ones renewed, the babies born and the loved ones lost, and all the experiences and opportunities (both happy and sad) that have cultivated this year into one of my very favorites.

Cheers, 2013. Here’s to hoping 2014 is even a fraction as good as you were.

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