It's a funny thing, the words I choose. Every year, I pick them and every year, they end up applying to my life even more than I anticipate.
I can count numerous times this year when the word bravery was directly applied to a decision or action in my life.
There was this post where I shared my views on divorce and how it hasn't changed my belief in marriage. Getting used to openly talking about divorce wasn't an easy thing. I was fearful of the judgement. But I did it anyway because I needed my voice to be heard.
This year, I made hundreds of new friends---some I've met and some I hope to meet in person someday. I might have forced myself into some of their lives and trusted my brave heart to lead me in the path I needed to go and my goodness, it turned out so incredibly sweet in the end.
I have learned to fight this year---I went from slowly killing myself daily to putting myself in recovery from my eating disorder, I have learned to openly talk about pornography and share my views on the effects of it's entrapment, and I have slept in my bed alone for over a year with only minor middle-of-the-night freak outs.
I have dated. Oh what a fun and seriously stupid world the dating world is... I really don't have much to say about it but for me, dating has been extremely brave.
School. I have completed two semesters of full time school this year and gotten through one of the most triggering classes I've ever had to endure---and I raised my hand and spoke my mind about why I don't agree with mainstreaming pornography.
I was chosen to be a recipient of the Bright Effects day and I completed a photoshoot of just me...no kids...just my beautiful insecurities, all wrapped up into one mold of a warrior.
I started working again---and it was all sorts of messy for a while. Juggling work, school, and motherhood was not very fun for a while. Ninja would say the same thing if you asked him. It was hard. I was constantly getting anxious and running from one place to the next, trying to devote my attention to whomever needed it the most in that minute. Luckily, we have fallen into a groove and things have gotten so much better!
My bravery took us on two trips, one to California and one to Utah. I also took a trip to Las Vegas with friends, where I bravely wore my "Porn Kills Love" shirt on the LV Strip.
There have been so many moments this year where I've questioned myself. I doubt my abilities a lot. I worry about whether this blog is the right thing, whether my parenting is good enough, and whether I'm acting with authenticity. I want to be real and allow you to see the messy mixed in with the beautiful.
I struggle to find who I really am. I have changed so much this year and although so many aspects of that are beautiful, some of them aren't as great. Sometimes I surprise myself with how much anxiety can take over within seconds or how my fears cause me to believe really ugly things about myself.
Other days I surprise myself with how confident I am.
But mostly, it's just been hard trying to figure out who this new Suzanne is. I battle that one out in my mind often---way too often.
There have been so many reasons to celebrate my bravery this year. I've done a lot of things I didn't believe I'd be capable of doing.
Which brings me to 2015:
I have thought about what word I should pick to represent this next year of my life.
Most of the words I wanted to pick were synonyms with bravery: courage, strength, etc. They all seemed like decent words but I knew none of them were the word I was looking for.
I was looking at this new family picture yesterday and the word seemed to be staring me in the face...
With all of my pain and struggle between divorce and my eating disorder, I have tried to focus on my own healing but it has never received enough attention.
This year, I am putting more focus on my own personal recovery. I'm going to figure out who I am and who I truly want to be.
I am going to fight for myself so that I am able to fight for those two beautiful children of mine.
The past 3 years, I've tried to make it a goal to go to the temple 12 times (which would equal out to once a month) and each year, I get somewhere between 6-9. Not this year. This year I surpassed my goal and although I am not going to put a specific number on my temple attendance this next year, I have seen what going to the temple does for my life and I am going to continue making it a priority.
I have so much faith that healing my heart is possible. I have faith in my ability to figure this new life out.
To end my year of bravery, and to start another year of bravery, I recorded a song that I heard for the first time tonight---because I'm really good at winging things around here. This is my last post of 2014 and I really wanted to share something special with all of you, my warrior friends.
I want to leave you with a thousand disclaimers but I think the bravest part of posting this is just leaving this video for you to listen to and judge for yourself. No disclaimers. Just me.