The WH Guide to 2017

After years of maintaining thirteen small, tidy heart-shaped leaves, the old philodendron in the corner of my apartment has exploded into life. Her stalks divide and she unfurls a profusion of waxy new leaves every week, reaching her long arms into the room. She’s outgrowing her pot. She’s restless, I think, and so am I.

These days, I can feel a rumbling under my surface, like great tectonic plates crushing into one another at the beginning of the world, rearranging my lithosphere into something unrecognizable. But it feels good, this cracking and crumbling, this molten rock bubbling to the surface. To be honest, sometimes I just get so tired of softness.


There is a woman inside of me that is sharp as the blade of a knife. She’s flint and firework, salt and iron. And for a long while, I’ve been scared of her, of what she’ll make me do, of how and where she’ll push me. I can hear her thrashing and screaming in my belly whenever I temper myself, whenever I try to please people, whenever I keep my mouth shut, whenever I prioritize comfort, safety, and peace over truth and experience.

I’m ready for that part of me to give up the ghost. I’m ready to become a woman who is tenacious, unafraid, ambitious, audacious, unapologetic, fierce. So that’s my goal for the coming year. I want to be wilder. I want to outgrow my comfortable little pot.

This list looks very different from the one I made last year, but after all, isn’t that how it should be? 2016 was a year of growth. This is the year of the fight.

Shed

Shake off the old feathers, the warm dust that has settled on your shoulders, the old ideas and ways of being that sleep around you. Cut yourself free from the weight of expectations. Slip out of the comfortable robe of identities and excuses you wear every day and be naked in the world. Learn the strength of vulnerability.

Hone

Sharpen yourself on the stone of experience. Never become complacent. Streamline and organize. Become faster, stronger, and wiser. Work harder and better. Trust the process. Learn discipline. Listen to the wisdom of those who’ve come before you. Be present, be impressionable, be teachable.

Pursue

Lead the hunt. Chase after everything you want, teeth bared and jaws open. Claim your crown, your lands, your people, your birthright. Ride into battle with your sword in the air. Practice relentlessness. Live without fear.

Thrive

Choose to live a life that nourishes you. Remove obstacles, addictions, and bad habits that keep you from feeling fully alive. Let nature teach you – stars and rivers and mountains and the moon. Seek pleasure and laughter. Reclaim the power that the world has tried to take away from you. Reclaim fire.

 

Life was not meant to be lived quietly. Don’t misunderstand me – I will always find beauty in the mundane and meaning in the small things. But just like the seasons of the earth, there are seasons of life as well – and for me, winter is already over.

Valhalla, here I come.