My word for 2021 is emerge. After a year of focusing on home, I’m ready to peek my head out and see what the world is like. I’m ready to emerge as a writer and artist more fully, to bend myself toward those practices and see where that takes me. I want to rediscover and more fully know myself in 2021, and to confidently let what I find be visible. I’m ready to rise decisively, to be indulgent in my creativity and abilities.
After so much rest and hibernation, I am ready to emerge.
Here is my list for 2021:
- See a play, opera, or other theatrical production. 
- Put feet in the Atlantic Ocean. 
- Go on a writing retreat. 
- Drive a motorcycle. 
- Visit Mount Hood. 
- Visit Mount Saint Helens. 
Blog every day for 30 consecutive days. 
- Go whale watching. 
- Teach a writing workshop. 
- Go for a long solo hike. 
- Go on a camping trip. 
- Go a week without Netflix. 
Go strawberry picking and make jam. 
- Go dancing. 
- Graduate from the IPRC! 
- Go to Universal Studios (Harry Potter World). 
- Take a 24-hour digital detox. No screens. 
- Make a zine. 
- Do a float tank. 
Relax in a hot spring. 
- Replace plates and bowls with handmade ones. 
- Get a king-sized bed. 
- Decorate holiday cookies. 
- See a movie alone. 
- Visit a synagogue. 
Write a list of 10 reasons I am a good mother. 
- Go kayaking at least once. 
- Try dry brushing. 
- Visit Denver. 
- Get a manicure. 
- Get a facial. 
Visit a sauna.  Have an energy healing. 
- Visit an art museum. 
- Take Ori to a children’s museum. 
Buy flowers. 
- See a comedy show. 
Watch a sunset. 
- Get car mats and seat covers. 
- Do a family photo shoot. 
Do morning pages for a week. 
- Leave a 100% tip. 
Visit a city I’ve never been to. (Manzanita and Nehalem, Oregon) Go skinny dipping. 
- Make a family tree for Ori. 
Finish reading The Wise Heart .
- Finish Soft Spot.
Take another yoga class with Megan.
- Take a kickboxing class.
- Knit something.
- Take a watercolor painting class.
- Repair favorite quilt.
Get COVID-19 vaccine (yay!). Play on a playground with Ori. Paint with Ori. Make play dough from scratch. Lay in the sunshine.
- Finish a book arts project.
Take a long hike with Ori.(Portland Audubon Society) Celebrate my 30th birthday in a meaningful way.
- Have a bonfire.
- Buy a piece of art I love.
Buy more throw pillowsand blankets.
- Have a least one friend date every month with a different friend.
- Send a holiday card that arrives before the holidays.
- Finish putting together emergency kits.
- Take a writing class.
- Buy 10 new books.
Add to Edna St. Vincent Millay collection. Get a haircut.
- Try punch needling.
- Bake cookies.
Have a cozy, casual dinner party.
- Create a cozy reading nook.
- Have car detailed.
- Have coffee or tea on the couch with a friend.
Deliver food to someone who needs it.
- Submit work once a month.
- Print photos.
- Send 10 thank you cards to people I’m grateful for.
- Update personal website with artwork and recent writing.
Eat at a restaurant. Take Ori to play in the snow. Eat something I grew myself.
- See my mother and have her meet Ori.
- Attend a story time.
Take an anti-racism class.
- Read five books by Black writers.
- Buy art from Black artists.
Participate in a neighborhood event. (Hail Snail Bloc Party)
- Attend three readings.
Buy a nice rug. Find fancy candlesticks, cloth napkins, and placemats for new table.
- Have headshots taken.
- Send someone a care package.
- Do annual collecting through notebooks.
- Buy another fun pair of glasses.
Find the perfect summer smock dress.
- Get an apron.
- Play cards.
- Finish this list.
End of year reflections
It’s painful to see the optimism I had at the beginning of 2021. I really thought the pandemic was almost over; that we would all get vaccinated in 2021 and move forward.
32/101 things is not bad for a year like 2021.
I crossed something off my list that has been on it for five years: skinny dipping! I enjoyed a hot spring-esque soak in a saltwater pool and used a sauna alone, all totally naked. It was the first time I’ve showed my postpartum body to strangers and it was terrifying, cathartic, and also, in the end, not that big of a deal. We’re all housed in bodies and each one has seen warfare.
I didn’t emerge this year. I barely survived. And that is also okay and good. 2021 taught me to be more gentle, to find the middle way, to let go (just a little bit) of right and wrong, good and bad, and other binaries that bring comfort but no joy or growth. I’m too tired to make firm judgments. I’m just a rock in the river now.
I used to believe I was the river. I want to proclaim that being a rock is better, that it is somehow more good, less bad, but I’m sure none of that is right. All of it is fluid. I’m lost in the current. 2022 is the year I’m learning how to stay grounded or maybe deciding to float upstream.
I’m looking forward to being worn smooth or smashed open.