Thursday, January 1, 2015

One Word 2015: Homing

My year of free has come to an end, and what a year it has been. In my now nearly six year long journey with doubt, it has been the most significant and life-changing by far. After five years of condemning myself for not being good enough, holy enough, faithful enough, I let myself just be. And I truly feel as if a cage has been opened in my life, allowing me to wander freely where I was once trapped.


In short, it has been good. I gave myself permission to be wild and take risks and to believe in myself. I was an English major in college, so I basically think in metaphor, and 2014 was all fire and keys and redness and I had so much energy. I felt like a 13 year old in the height of teenage rebellion, saying and doing what I wanted because I'm a person, man! It was like the defiant childhood I missed out on as a good girl, except in the body of a wife and stay-at-home mother and instead of experimenting with drugs I quit church and wrote heretical things on the internet.

It was good, so so good. But eventually, I started to miss things. I started to miss the communal traditions found on Sunday mornings. I started to miss the sense of belonging and comfort that comes with it. Maybe it was getting pregnant, but I started to long for roots to put down, for myself and my family.

***
"Lost and weary traveler
Searching for the way to go
Stranger, heavy hearted
Longing for someone you know
May you find a light
May you find a light
May you find a light
To guide you home" 
-The Brilliance, "May You Find a Light"

***

My word this year is Homing, but this isn't the story you might think it is, of the wayward girl wandering off for a year and then returning home. It is the story of exploring further, quieter, deeper, so that I may find the place where I truly belong.

I had big plans for this advent to mean something, something light and easy and free, but it was still hard at times. I thought maybe if I went to a couple episcopal church services, I would feel more at peace and less judged, like I might somehow find a place there. But I felt the same old tensions for different reasons and it didn't feel any more like home than the old place. I think I'm learning I have to make a home for myself, rather than find it out there.

Via
I've always found my identity in groups and authority figures and movements, essentially in community, so it's really hard for me to let go of the idea that once I find this certain group, the right group, everything will fall into place and I will be at home. I don't think that's going to happen. I think maybe though, I might learn to become more at home enough in myself, so that wherever I go, I can feel the sense of peace and comfort that I long for.

So that is what this year will be for: settling into myself, my body and mind and soul, finding and making a home there. Also, for building traditions and rhythms into our physical home and family, especially as we bring a new baby into our world. This year there will be more exploring and wrestling and searching, to be sure, but there will also be homing. There will be relaxing and nesting and settling in.

Chances are, I'll continue to be found less in this space and on the internet in general, as I spend more time burrowing my roots into physical spaces. But I'd still love to hear about your world and the ways you are growing as well. Have you picked a word for the year? What are your hopes for it? 

7 comments :

  1. I love this. Random question: Do you know what you are on the Enneagram? Maybe its just because we have such similar backgrounds, but I feel like I have so much in common with you! Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Hi Hannah! I'm a six. What are you? (Thanks for reading!) <3

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  2. I just found your blog through Rage Against the Minivan, and I am so thankful. I've never chosen a word for the year, but have been struggling with (my perception of) other people's expectations for me and my long-held expectations for myself. As soon as I read that your word for last year was free, and the reasons for it, I burst into tears. I felt God speak to me, give me the freedom (ha) to choose to be free this year. I'm going to try it. So thank you.

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    1. Elise, that is so nice to hear. Wising you all the best in your year of free! <3

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  3. Hi! I just noticed that we follow each other on Twitter (I am NOT a good Twitterer). I just started a blog and am hoping, among other things, to get a community of women, specifically mothers of girls (though not exclusively) to share letters to their daughters (and/or sons). I thought I would give just contacting a few people directly a shot to see if anyone was interested in participating. My blog is still very new so at this point it’s probably not going to help your blog (but it won’t hurt it, either :) I’d love for you to check it out and consider joining in—but I recognize that you have no idea who I am at this point! I’m going to put the first 20 sharers into a drawing for a $20 gift card to Target (so the odds are decent).

    I chose a word last year, actually, for the first time: humility. This year my word is persist.

    My husband is a writer, too (and was also an English major)---I love reading words written by writers. :)

    Thanks,
    Brooke
    www.ByeComparison.com

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    1. I know this is crazy late, but thanks for thinking of me! I've been kind of out of the loop through pregnancy and the newborn stage, but I enjoyed checking out your blog!

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  4. Hello Alissa,
    It's been awhile since I've checked out your space! It's been awhile since I've blogged, actually. But I did today. And I just read your post and it felt so dead on to what I just posted. Mostly the part about how you are "just being." I finally feel at peace with where I'm at artistically/blog-wise, enough to just "be" and go with it. I hear you about the homing though. I haven't been a member of a church for over 10 years. We visited a church this past year, but it didn't feel the same. Having two young children makes me long for roots as well. I'm still fumbling with that. But I don't think church is our answer at this point in time. Looking forward to seeing where your rooting journey takes you, as well as me. :)

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