And so here we are! It's suddenly almost the end of 2010 and I find myself contemplating the year that was. Looking back over it, I find myself uncharacteristically lost for words. I'm not really a private person in many ways- if I think or feel something, chances are I will tell you all about it, and passionately. Yet I've often curbed what I share on Fashademic as I have tried to figure out how much this is an arena for idea exploration and research, and how much a personal space to share something of myself and my life (and photos of myself, obvz) with you. I still haven't figured that one out but it's starting to matter less and less which is perhaps the point. This space is mine for the making and somehow, incredibly, you want to check in from time to time- it delights me that you do, down to the bottom my broken-down Ferragamo brogues.
Too much happened this year to cram into one post- I started my PhD, changed churches, moved to a new place, my colourist and I perfected the dye combination for my hair (highlight of the year?), I perfected my butter tart recipe, danced on broken glass in bare feet and had to get it removed by a doctor (no tetanus shot though! high five!), had both romantic adventures and misadventures, bought my first Chloe something and went on innumerable trips to Bassike, found some new best friends and got to know my already-best friends even better, changed jobs, wrote in some capacity almost every day, watched multiple seasons of The West Wing, Mad Men and 30 Rock at lightning speed, and learned a heck of a lot about myself and the kind of person I want to be.
I think that's the key, guys, as well as the take-home from this post. This was a tricky year to negotiate, at times overwhelmingly so. I found myself in situations that I had never anticipated, knowing that I had to rise to meet what faced me but sometimes without knowing how to do that at all. What has redeemed the difficulty of wending my way through the shadows is what I learned from the experience of doing so. I've learned that forgiving is both incredibly costly and incredibly freeing. I've learned that it is worth pursuing what is right even if it is daunting. And yes, that it is important to be kind to yourself- and I don't mean that in the 'spoil yourself every week with a mani/pedi' way but more like... it's okay to not understand everything that is happening in your life and to not have everything stitched up and on track all the time. That the messiness is unavoidable if you have dreams, passions and friends. All you can do is hold to your convictions, listen to other people (especially those that care for you) and accept yourself for who you are.
And at the end of it all, I feel a wellspring of hope in my heart at the unshakeable knowledge that even in the darkness there is a light holding me in His hand. Even when I couldn't feel His presence and even when I felt like my troubles were caused primarily by being His, I held to the knowledge, sometimes just flickering, that He loves me. I don't speak of my faith on Fashademic very often- I know it can be confronting to people who have had horrendous experiences with Christianity or who loathe the idea that there are still people who firmly believe that Jesus Christ not only existed but that he also still lives. I'm not trying to proselytise you, and the purpose of my blog is obviously not evangelistic. But at the end of the most challenging year of my life thus far, I cannot do anything but ascribe where I am now to Him. He made a way for me and so here we are, eleven months after clicking the 'create your blog' button on Blogger and almost 15 000 visitors later and I'm thankful, that's all.
Grace, peace and love to you this Christmas, fellow fashion diehards.
May you all find dealbreakers under the tree and a kick-ass 2011 waiting for you on the other side