OK, I said I was going to make a point about these Christmas letters. I found it really interesting to read them and follow my progress over the course of the years.
One year I moved from NC to FL to Rochester, NY. I’d had my first public gig with my former roomate’s band. Then I got a guitar that Christmas.
The next year, I was gigging with my own band. I’d gotten a good job, moved into my own place, bought a car (which I still have) and made another attempt to go back to school (the first being my foiled move to England in 2000).
In 2002, I kept gigging – first with my band and then on my own. I dated a lot, and then met Kevin. I got deeper into exploring my spirituality. I quit school.
The following year in 2003 I got engaged, then married, bought a house, gigged a lot, and went back to school again. I also released my 2nd CD, Goddess Inside. (When did I release the first one? In 1999, I think, before I started writing Christmas letters.)
2004 saw yet more gigs (until I got pregnant), more emphasis on spirituality and the course I’m taking to become an ordained minister (which I also hope to use towards a college degree once I’m done with it), and the aforementioned pregnancy. My grandmother died and I moved up a generation in the family.
What I see when I read these yearly letters are these recurring themes – music, school, spirituality, love. Writing is in there too, although I don’t mention it so much. And it’s hard to sum up one’s lifelong love of technology in an annual missive.
It’s…I don’t know…bizarre in a way, yet very heartwarming, to look back and watch the progression of my life. To see myself explore the things I’ve always wanted to do. To take the freedom that being an adult gives me and use it to grow.
I haven’t sent out my Christmas cards yet, so I won’t post this year’s letter until later. Let’s be honest, it’s mostly pictures of Duncan, anyway. But now I’m a mother – fulfilling another life goal.
You know how we’re so good at beating up on ourselves, tearing ourselves down, terrified we’ll never amount to anything? Most people are, anyway. When I look back at my Christmas letters, I don’t feel that at all. When I distill the highlights of my years and see how I’ve changed and grown, I feel good. I feel proud.