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.

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?