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2023 in Retrospect


Letter (for mobile or accessibility needs) 


Some lessons learned this year:


  • Waiting is not passive resignation, but an anticipatory posture.


  • The healing is in the doing.


  • God’s sense of humor is a little peculiar.


  • Elevation sickness is no joke. The act of elevating has similar symptoms.


  • Celebrate the insignificant.


  • Gratitude is the antithesis

to anxiety.

I spent a lot of time this year wandering. Oftentimes I’ve seen the word wander in a negative light, like reckless vagabonds, confused devotees, or prodigal sons. I’ll borrow some prose from the Lord of the Rings, “All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost.”

As I ventured around the painful and solemn moments of the year, I made sure to fight for my pieces of light. I leaned on the things that felt true to the core of my being. I wandered back to my audacious creativity, to the goodness of people, and the great mysteries of God and nature. I created art that was nostalgic, disruptive, righteously inspiring, or downright ugly. My fashion game got a glow-up with the help of a stylist, empowering my confidence and helping me experiment with color as resistance to the mundane. I celebrated life with the people who bring me joy and strength, singing Millennial karaoke bops, dancing at Broadway raves, driving along coastal highways, eating at swanky restaurants and making not-so-swanky family favorites, feeling our age at concerts surrounded by youths, or seeing the amazing 6-foot man eating chicken. With some help, I moved houses this November, and am continuing to figure out what makes the space feel like home again. I spent time cruising through and trekking trails in Alaska and Colorado amidst massive glaciers, vast forests, rushing waterfalls, and snowy mountains. To feel so insignificant compared to the grandness of creation was just what I needed to relieve my petty anxieties and some of my deeper fears. I suppose some things simply fade away in the wilderness.

The enduring journey for light was not without its share of darkness. Many of the plans I made at the start of the year were washed away in the storms. I had to let go of what I had my heart set on, and that was a humbling process. Past hurts and regrets threw knockout punches, making my body exhausted with the pain. Moments of deep interpersonal conflict required the continual and intentional work of reconciliation and mercy. There was a span of deep desolation, isolation, and hopelessness I wasn’t sure I would be able to recoup or recover from. Even now I’m still living amongst piles of unpacked boxes, unprocessed emotions, and unfinished projects. I’m still healing from both old and fresh traumas, but I’m giving myself more grace and compassion than I ever could before. Maybe that’s what I’ve gained from the struggle.

So here I am on what feels like the slowest climb out of the deepest pits. I am grateful for the ways I’ve been covered in love, prayers, and truth. The deepest truths of who I am ring true, and I am caring for those pieces with everything I’ve got. Much was lost in the wandering, including plenty of painful baggage I don’t need to carry anymore. My hands and heart now have more space for whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, excellent or praiseworthy. One day I’ll more clearly understand what this time was for, and I’ll see the streaks of light that led me through the dark. I’ll reach the summit where I may be able to see a route to the promised land ahead. It was not an aimless season, nor a shameful escape, but rather a wandering meditation back to who I always was and closer to who I’m meant to be.

All my love and peace to you,

Sincerely Maggie.

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