[Eiteljorg Museum + Central Canal. Indianapolis 2013]
As 2013 winds down with just days before the New Year begins, I thought it would be great to do a post mash up. First, if you’ve been reading From Rae with Love, I’m thankful for you. Each and every one of you. All of you who comment, email, tweet, RT, watch the Stepsisters Blog, encourage me, talk with me off line and who I have grown to know and love – I really and truly am grateful.
The blog was born out of what I’d like to consider the smouldering ashes of a life needing examination. Add the fact I was secretly writing and not ready to share anything and well, there was a ready platform for a blog. I never knew what would happen and if anyone would read it. Turns out, more of you read it than I thought. It also turns out, that I have a high percentage of male readers – who knew? I wouldn’t have known unless I was paying attention to Google Analytics (also why it was important to move to a self-hosted blog). Honestly, that anyone chooses to read any work and finds it great, amazing, inspiring is a honor and it’s humbling. The fact you’re reading my work and find it interesting is a blessing. Again, I can’t thank you enough.
Here are the Top 10 Posts of 2013 on From Rae With Love:
1. 29 Blog Prompts for Inspiration
2. Lifestyle Blog? Meh
3. 21 Things Bloggers Do When You’re Not Looking
4. Thousands of Hours: The Search for Love – Changing Woman
5. The Art of Guarding Your Heart
6. From Rae With Love: 2014 The Year Ahead
7. Too Easy to Date: The Promise Not to Struggle Date
8. The Close of 2013: Reflections on the Year
9. Wrong Love – Get Your Ass Together
10. Fight for It: Fight for What You Want
Funny enough, many of these were written after I moved the blog. So what was written before now, while I count it and could still check the stats, this is what you’ve been reading since that time.
This year, honestly, if I look back on it, has been truly phenomenal for me. I came to terms with more of who I am, the things I want to do and the person I really want to work towards becoming. I became much less apologetic for wanting the things I want and living the way I want.
I learned my level of expectation needs to consistently be turned inward. To expect something of myself and from myself is the best gift. Placing those expectations outwardly on others isn’t fair.
I learned in order to encourage people to be themselves, you have to be yourself. Fully. There’s no half-stepping here. Trepidation doesn’t bless you in that way,
For full and open communication, you have to offer an environment that can support it. I don’t need or want anyone to walk on eggshells around me and I don’t want to have to do it around anyone who is close to me. I had to learn to be more open to different conversations – as well as get better at listening to people’s truths – even if it was something I wasn’t going to like. Truth isn’t often convenient for us. But if we let it, it will bless us.
I’ve learned collaboration is beautiful. I’m an only child. I don’t like to share. I don’t typically like group projects. But my Stepsisters: Eva, Shai and Tanisha have taught me when you have the right chemistry and the right
co-conspirators collaborators all sorts of amazing things can come to fruition. We encourage each other, laugh and come up with great ideas regularly.
I do know, as I’ve said many times before, this year was so difficult! So many things happened but it’s as if the difficulty factor also allowed for the amount of goodness to exponentially increase. I mean, why is it I was thinking anything good was going to come without some heartache or real work to it? It doesn’t normally. There’s always work to be done. There’s always something we will have to work on.
I’ve said it before, but it remains even more true today – if someone can outwork you, they don’t need to be more talented than you.
That being said, for me, this year coming up will be a year of “doing more and talking less.” Less time will spent comparing myself to others and all of the things they’re doing and more time with my nose spent to the grindstone to chisel, sharpen and produce a beautiful body of work.
I want to wish you an amazing close of 2013 for the remaining hours and days. I want to wish you an amazing 2014. Choose your goals wisely for the year, but most importantly truly LIVE your life. It’s not promised and it’s meant to be lived – fully, well and unapologetically.