2010, A Year of My Life

December 29, 2010

Tree frog in Eastern Washington

I am a quiet girl, prone to moving through life at a turtle’s pace and to doing things at small, detailed levels. I am not one for making big splashes, yet I know I can have profound effects. Nevertheless, when I look back at my life, sometimes I feel like I haven’t done much; the tracks I leave tend to be humble, not monumental, and it can be difficult for me to see that I’ve “made something” of my life.

From where I sit today I know that this past year has been monumental, I can feel it. To give myself a tangible sense of this, I made a list (’cause that’s how I roll).

In the year twenty-ten:

I swam with turtles in the Caribbean and with sturgeon in the Puget Sound. I stood on a cliff and watched a pod of seals frolic. I stood on a riverbank and gazed enraptured while fledgling eagles squealed through their first solo soaring.

I found bald eagle and red-tailed hawk feathers, and marveled at mountain bluebirds and merlins. I lingered with a village of hermit crabs; they were magic and freaky at the same time.

I found a wee, pink orchid on a remote hillside, where pirates had walked centuries before. And at a roadside stand I bought beautiful rattles made from “garbage” by a man with a lovely voice and knowing eyes.

I drove through miles and miles of wheat farms, top down on my yellow car and my farm-girl DNA all a-ga-ga. I rode small ferry boats across a river, a lake, and a sea. I lingered with many a sunrise, sunset, and the Milky Way. I saw shooting stars, and watched fireworks.

I tickled my circus bone, at Teatro ZinZanni, Ricochet, Libertease, Can Can, Columbia City Cabaret, Moisture Festival, Circus Contraption, and twice at Cirque du Soleil’s KOOZA—where the King of Clowns hit me over the noggin with a Porterhouse steak and confetti sailed out of a cannon and into my cleavage.

I became Mayor of Heimlich’s Chew Chew, Hollywood Tower of Terror, and Malo Trading Post.

I learned how to do my make-up as if I were a burlesque performer, and I wore 3D glasses at the midnight opening of Alice in Wonderland.

With the love and kindnesses of friends and family, I survived a divorce (there was a lovely, laughter- and tear-filled party at my new apartment the night-of), and with the brute power of my friends and family, seven months later I packed up all my west-coast belongings and moved 300 miles east.

I built a website for a poet, because I love his voice, and I nudged a shamen through publishing a daring book. I (finally!) opened my Etsy shop—and actually (finally!) sold some of the vintage things I’ve accumulated.

I made new friends, and expanded existing friendships. I could have been a better friend, but I’m pretty sure everyone still loves me nevertheless. And I’m okay with that.

I did not send out my annual Valentine, and I regret that, but February 14 was only a month after my divorce was finalized, so I was not feeling much Cupid in my heart. (I am looking forward to rectifying this in 2011.)

I took good care of my body—celebrating one year of sobriety, losing twenty pounds, and indulging in Pilates. I got pretty descent at feeding myself, even though I abhor doing so.

A priest and I collaborated on a sexy little art project. And in an interesting turn of events, I crafted my first art installation, which hung at a major art festival. There were also many art dates with dear friends and these included glitter, gossip, and giggles.

There was much!!! sand between my toes–from several different beaches–and lingering poolside in Ballard plus skinny dipping in a pool in Los Angeles.

I invented a new sport—the S’mores Off—and I did not win this roasted marshmallow competition, but I launched much laughter and learned ways to refine my roasting technique. PUFFY.

I did many things that were uncomfortable, practicing spontaneity and no-fear; I believe I am better off for doing so.

I have also been dabbling in vulnerability, and I am grateful to know that there are openings in the walls I built around my heart. Not many of them, and not large openings, but after the way I began this year in a complete upheavel of my life, even the wee, smallest openings to my heart are precious.

Thank you all for riding along with me. I really would not have made it without you.

Apples in Los Angeles

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kymberlee December 30, 2010 at 8:40 am

Leila,

I am so delighted to be someone who got to come in to your world during this time of re-inventing and re-membering yourself.

I really appreciate the softness of your words and the way I feel oddly comforted by them. I feel the openings in your heart and I’m grateful for that. I have personally been through a year of tremendous upheaval and have been alternately trying to keep bitterness at bay and welcoming it to let it burn away the pain with its acrid ooze. I have also been macerating my fears and diving deeper into reality than ever before.

When I read what you’ve written here, it reminds me to make my own list of the moments of joy and grace I’ve had. I am good at noticing them in the moment but it would be good to see the landscape of the past year both with the eyes of Eagle and with a filter of goodness.

Thank you for your softness.
Thank you for your truth.
Thank you for letting me into your world.
Thank you for the inspiration.

With love and deep respect,

Kymberlee

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