2016: The Year of Finishing


Lots of things are over, including 2015. When I think about all that happened last year, it feels like a lifetime.

I went to India, and I met my treasured India tribe. I saw the world -- and myself -- through fresh eyes thanks to Delhi and A Fresh Chapter. I did things I never thought possible, and, ever since, have felt myself rising to the occasion, despite acute growing pains. 2015 was so often uncomfortable.

My new friends taught me to open up again, and my old friends were still there to be embraced. Life got richer.

But 2015 will forever be the year I lost my uterus and my mother. I had complicated, and formative, relationships with both. My Mom was everything, but not simply.

Now it's just me standing alone, and whatever contribution and legacy I intend to leave the world has to start from there. The blank page.

And stage. A few months ago, I admitted to myself and others how much I miss acting. Performing was at the center of my world for decades, and the theater saved my life more than once, when things were dangerous and terrible. I stopped acting when my spirit took a hard (extended) hit at my writing job, which demanded most of my time. At last, on September 1, 2015, I went back to the inestimable Wynn Handman's class, and there, in my seat, I remembered the reason I first began to write. There, in the church of theater, Wynn tipped my inspiration over the top, and it spilled out onto the page. He blew the rust off, and it turns out I can still act, maybe even better. And I love it even more. So this is the year I get those pictures taken once again - as I am, not as I would like to be (code for skinny) and get back on the audition circuit. The theater, my first love, and I are back together.

The above picture was taken backstage at my kindergarten graduation production of Alice in Wonderland. My stage debut. In the photo, it looks like I am moving backward. So I flipped it. Because I can.

Forward, no more looking back, except for research. There are nothing but shades back there.

It has taken me several years since the initial idea, but what the hell, 2016 is my year of finishing. I am weighed down by my unfinished projects, unanswered letters, undelivered thank yous, and cancer weight. Time to cut the strings, because I can't move far forward with my book unfinished, with my screenplay unsold, with that headstand still unstood, with so much unrealized. I will need help.

I invite anyone and everyone to join me in tying up loose ends and cutting the strings. What do you want to finish this year? What do you want to make room for?

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© 2015 Leslie Nipkow