Personal Reflections on 2017

I’m not sure what to say about 2017. It was an odd year for me, and it almost feels like not much happened. But that’s not true. “Progress” means many things, and in 2017, it meant taking a step back. Not backwards, but a step back to look at a painting, to see the whole thus far, to examine, adjust, appreciate.

I’m an observer, and a seeker of inspiration. I always have been. But this past year was practically dedicated to inspiration through observation. I took nearly the whole year off from theatre and performing. I wrote more. I saw more movies. I introspected so hard. I found flaws I didn’t know I had and discovered abilities I thought were reserved for other people. I learned to trust my friends, and I’m learning to trust myself.

At the beginning of the year, I couldn’t choke out the word “home” in relation to Seattle. It didn’t feel honest. But over the course of these 12 months, I found another layer to that slippery word. Home is in the mountains. Home is in the desert. Home is any place where there are people who love me. And though I can’t say that’s everywhere, I can say – and I do so with deep gratitude – that it’s a heck of a lot of places. So like, I guess home actually is where the heart is.

Part of my hope for 2018 is that we will continue find home somewhere we don’t expect to find it, that we will each find the redemption of our flaws, and the courage to take the planks out of our own eyes. I’m excited for the coming unknown, scary as it always is.

I spent a lot of time crying in movie theaters this year: Manchester by the Sea, Logan, Dunkirk, Bladerunner 2049. Each moved me profoundly and left me reeling with emotion. But it’s a line from Logan that has stayed with me the longest, given me so much to consider. Without spoiling anything, seconds before a character makes a huge sacrifice, he utters the words, “Beware the light.” The moment is brief, but it has never left me. I’ve been pondering it in my heart for eight months. This year,  I stepped out of the spotlight and turned it inward, so it seems fitting to close my reflections on 2017 here:

Beware the Light because darkness cannot hold it, and fear cannot withstand it. Beware the Light for it will expose you and force truth upon you. Beware the Light because it burns with refining and opens our eyes. Beware the Light. Tread boldly. Tread carefully. Lord, give us more to see.

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