hey, 2015


Hey 2015,

It’s only been a few days since you left, but you’ve been on my mind. So much happened in your 365 days.

In your span of time, I turned 25 (and, let’s not forget the days leading up to that, thinking about reaching the “quarter-life” milestone, and if I had achieved what I had hoped to achieve), I received a significant job promotion, traveled across the country and across the pond, discovered – and fell in love with – yoga, made new friends, survived ant invasions in my apartment and the crazy summer/fall heat, said goodbye to close friends who moved away, learned more about eating healthy, watched close friends say “i do!”, cheered the US women’s soccer team as they won a world cup, spent holidays with family, and mourned the loss of my grandfather — an event that has influenced so much of this year.

2015, you were full. There’s a story behind each one of those events, separated by commas. Their significance varies, obviously. Some of those events were covered in tears, some in laughter, some in laughter and tears simultaneously. Some events were easy and fun – the dancing at weddings and the face paint at sports games, the re-connection with good friends as we drove to and from the airports, the way my sisters and I know immediately if one of us is having a bad day. And some events were hard and sad – death standing out, but also – the tearful goodbyes to friends in the parking lot, the unanswered prayers I continued to pray, the changes with friendships and life stages that have at times left me feeling un-settled and lonely.

I’ve been listening to Nonono’s song “Pumpin Blood” on repeat these past few days. These lyrics stick with me:

Cause it’s your heart, it’s alive

it’s pumping blood

it’s your heart, it’s alive

it’s pumping blood

and the whole wide world is whistling

and it’s whistling

I am alive. I was alive in 2015 – there was so much life in it. A lot of hard life, and good life too. My heart was touched and moved by so many things – and I learned more about myself and who I am in this world that is, indeed, “whistling”.

And here we are in 2016, just a week and a half in to it, and I’m thinking of some other words that I came across from none other than the beloved Mary Oliver:

Lest we would sift it down

Into fractions, and facts –

Certainties –

And what the soul is, also

I believe I will never quite know.

Though I play at the edges of knowing,

Truly I know

Our part is not knowing,

But looking, and touching, and loving,

Which is the way I walked on, softly,

Through the pale-pink morning light

I want to walk into 2016 softly – and I wish I could tell you exactly what that “softly” means, or what it looks like, but I think that’s what I want to discover in this new year. I want to discover it by “looking, touching, loving.”

And to do it with a heart that is alive, pumping blood. Thanks for whistling this past year, 2015. I’m listening for that sound in 2016, too.

Love, Alyssa


One thought on “hey, 2015

  1. I really like your summation of 2015 and hopes for 2016, Alyssa. I love Mary Oliver’s gentle thoughts about knowing. I want to be more at ease with not having clarity, being okay with just looking out the back door at the Japanese Maple and the bird feeder we hung on a branch that is shunned by the birds. Allowing my furrowed brow to unfurrow and appreciate the possibility. -Jon


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