The last year has been truly a period of testing for me. I'm sure many of you can relate. Sometimes we are given small tests, other times we are tested on every single level, all at once. Sometimes it feels insurmountable. And we beg God or the universe to let it all go back to "normal". But, there is no normal. There is only constant change, constant growth, and the ever challenging experience of staying true to ourselves.
One of my favorite authors, Pema Chödrön says this:
"To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no-man's-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again."
2018 was a year of willingness for me. Willingness to let the Un.Inc die in it's last form, in hopes that it would return anew. Willingness to let my romantic relationship with Ben die, as he came out as bisexual and embraced. Willingness to let my lifestyle die, as I chose to move onto the land into a humble half-finished tiny house. There were many days and nights spent alone on our 9 acres, missing our community and missing comforts, believing that just being present was enough.
In that no-man's-land of letting go, I stepped into 2019 with hope. And new life has arisen, in every single category of my life. All at once. Almost as though to prove to me beyond a shadow of a doubt, that death leads to new life.
I sit here writing this in my new apartment off Riverside. I'm seated at the old co-working desk from 35th Street. My daughter and her best friend are playing in her bedroom, home with me for the summer before they start junior high. My large living room is empty, my tiny-house furniture looks comical in this big space. I am slowly moving in, making home again.
I woke up this morning with my new boyfriend, so grateful for the synergy and sweetness between us. It hits me today, that I prayed for him almost a decade ago, long before we met, when I was moving through a very painful divorce. God, I said, please send me a man that matches me in spirit, in commitment and in passion. A man that has worked as hard on himself as I have worked on myself, and who can truly walk alongside me. Since that prayer I've walked through several relationships, and some very painful endings. And suddenly this year, as if on queue, JaJuan Sanábria walked into the frame. He has been in my life as a creative collaborator and cohort alum for the past few years, but I never knew we would come together. He has more bravery and intent than I could possibly have imagined, and I'm enjoying every second of our new relationship.
A gift from one of our tiny home builders, a 2ft x 2 ft tiny house built out of framing, hangs on my wall. I've filled it with lights, and hung it as a constant reminder of my own willingness to let go, and my strength to continue with my intent.
This afternoon I'll head into our new office at Soma Vida. Ben and I will continue to work on our mission, to provide safe spaces and resources for change makers. West Texas Pride is around the corner, a chance to bring openness to a place that needs some.
Soon we'll be launching Un.Inc programming and events again in Austin at Soma Vida. I am so eager to facilitate cohorts and classes, to host creative events and happy hours, and to hold space again. Our partnership with Laura at Soma has allowed us to dream bigger this year. We have access to the outdoor stage and patio, large event and co-working space, and the energy of healing that permeates her space. I couldn't be more grateful for this open door and her trust in us.
Sydney wrote a poem last year, and this line continues to ring in my mind:
My mom creates the sky
by opening her fists
I know many of you find yourselves in a place of letting go, or death in some form or another. Remember this, your willingness and intent is enough. There will always be another season. I promise. Open your fists, stand firm, believe.