Well what a year it has been. So much done, learned, experienced. A lot of inner storms weathered - some more easily than others.
At the end of this year I am not at all where I thought I would be when I imagined it a year ago.
But I am certainly not the person I was a year ago, either.
I have performed, traveled, made videos, tested personal limits of all kinds, acquired new friends and fans, cried, laughed till my stomach hurt, sang till my throat could take no more, doubted myself, felt invincible, written new songs and then had to rewrite everything, including my life.
I have learned that there are no gurantees except personal inner strength and faith in what you can do. The only constants in life are your habits: good and bad. People will change, life will change, your body may decide it has had it and needs rest, but if you're alive on the inside and trust yourself, you can take any risk - with any outcome - and still come out on top, just because you took the plunge.
Fear may keep you safe for a while, but it won't save you from your own 'what ifs'.
I think I wrote a while back how sometimes it appears that different people are made of different materials. Wood, steel. Plaster. Stone. Put wood in the fire and it will burn. Put steel in the fire and it will get stronger.
But there is more to that. I believe now that we all 'transmute' over time. We change - sometimes back and forth - and you could have started out as steel, but when hurt or tired, you may become glass for a while, feeling like anything could shatter you. You hide and bide your time, but eventually you feel stronger and now you are not thin and brittle like the surface of a wineglass, ready to break at any given moment, but a sturdy glass door. You are ready to leave your safe cupboard and face the world. Maybe not go out into it just yet, but make yourself visible and vulnerable to a degree.
I often felt very brittle and rather fragile over this past year. I would rise up to challenges, but on the inside, my self doubt kept alive by finding ways to deny me the pleasure of achievement. I would tell myself: 'yes, I did it, but... I could have prepared more. I should have done better. I didn't do my best'.
Strangely enough, as many things fell away towards the end of this year, I feel the strongest I have in a very long time. I don't feel diminished by my perceived "failures", like I would have in the past. I feel - well, for the first time in a long, long time, I feel like I could be a sword. Steel. Or a rapier of a kind. Fine steel, bendable, but strong and sharp.
I am also the hand that wields it.
You see, life is dangerous. Living life as it should be lived, in my opinion, is dangerous. When you plan, hope, strive, you open yourself up to a giddy sense of freedom and possibility, but also to a chance that you will fail miserably. You could be broken. Shattered. Discouraged. But if you stay safe and never push your limits, you will never know what you might have been otherwise.
Today Los Angeles is cold and it started out being around 40 degrees farenheit this morning. Not common for Southern California, but I love it. It's crisp and I can smell wood burning somewhere. The sun is warming everything up. It does feel like the end of the year.
We are about to put my new Store page up on my website, and in the next few weeks you can expect a lot of Beatrix Map updates. The story goes on... 2013 feels like it will be an amazing year.
And as we passed through Utah a couple of weeks ago, we shot a very silly, but happy video to my Christmas cover of 'Marshmallow World':