I want to thrive.
I am done with just surviving, moving from one moment to the next hoping to sustain.
I am done with bleak and blackened futures, expecting nothing therefore reaching for nothing, to save myself from hurt.
I am done with measuring my words on an unbalanced scale, finding them and their weight insignificant and therefore weightless, worthless.
I am done.
This will seem like a silly allusion, but hold with me. In the second movie of the How To Train Your Dragon series, Toothless, the main dragon, finds within him a stronger firepower than he previously understood. In the final battle with a challenging dragon (if I'm spoiling this for you, I mean ... I'm pretty sure it's on Netflix by now, sorry) as he goes to defend his rider, Hiccup and their island community, an ultraviolet glow begins to emit from his scales, his nose, his ridges, the depth of his mouth. It is the building of his fire, his spirit, his strength. And, in measure, he releases it mercilessly with unrelenting force, yet not without calculated thought and strategy.
In my mind's eye, there is a selfie I cannot take on my own. I am screaming, blurry with the vibration of my own voice, hair blowing on ends in a purple halo behind my head, hands clasped around my face to steady it. It is somewhere between a rageful guttural release and a victorious battle cry, the vibration of the frame the only indication of its pitch, tenor, volume.
At at my chest, there is a crack, dead center with my sternum.
That same ultraviolet light is building in the crack, preparing to release.
This time I have spent, watching and waiting as my life scrambled about itself these last few years, has shown me that I am strong, I am able. There is literally nothing that I am not capable of, with enough determination and grace. I watch as my friends find their voices and move towards their own purposes and I am in awe as I hear them whisper back to me, you, too.
2014 was an amazing year for me, I won't deny that. Along with the heartbreak and the sadness and the loss, there was so much joy, so much love, so much more than I ever actually imagined for myself. Somewhere along the way I lost my fear, and with that I found beauty and truth and life I had been missing, aching for without actually knowing the source of my longing. I gained a trust in myself, the way my eyes see and hear and feel this world, and a confidence in my mind and the way it operates that assures me yes, I am valuable and this world is truly better for me being in it.
According to my friends, I have also blossomed into a striking sort of beauty. I have come far enough to be able to blush and say thank you, but that road is one I still feel slightly nervous about traveling. I will say, however, I have learned to look myself in the eye in a mirror (or a selfie) and see beauty where only I saw imperfections before. And I mostly quit giving a damn what people think or say about how I present, so who knows, maybe those friends are on to something.
The upcoming year will, I feel, foster a great deal of external, obvious changes for me and my little trio of a family. I hope the majority of them will be for the better, and with equal hope I know we will weather when those changes present themselves as hardships or setbacks. But this past year was full of changes too, however imperceptible or subtle to the watchful eyes of the Internet and in the brief meetings in person.
I am not the girl I was a year ago. I am not the girl I was five years ago, or nine years ago, or fifteen years ago. No, I am a woman with determination and courage and grace and a fire building in my chest and burning through my veins and I will no longer be denied, no.
I have everything I will ever need within me. I always have. I just finally know it, now.
In 2015, I will thrive.
Just watch me.