In a word, 2015 has been epic. EPIC. I graduated from PhilaU and got my Strategic Design MBA. I was a speaker at an industry-leading design conference. I moved to Washington, D.C., and essentially got a new job that’s as rewarding as it is relieving.
I had a serious mental and emotional breakthrough, learned how to operate from my Word, and have broken away from the Dark Side, really. Drawn no longer, I am to the battle between controlled order and inspirational change. Just peace. I have learned I can be one of those things without the other. It’s enlightening for a reason.
I have carved a space for professional creativity and made a home for spiritual fulfillment and personal ingenuity. At once, I have ceased being a writer in order to truly become one of creative self-expression and worthwhile storytelling. In 2015, I wrote my life with a light saber.
There is no other word for it.
There are a million other words for it. For me, 2015 is most akin to the experience the cast of Star Wars had, and is having. Here’s how they describe their journeys: glorious, emotional, incredible, overwhelming, a roller coaster, thrilling, powerful, wild, and a symphony.
That’s something you and others play together, in concert with one another. I played with plenty of folks this past year, and sometimes it was making music. Other times, it was making noise. Star Wars in known phenomenally for its soundtrack.
When I think about this past year in the frames of the movie, the cast of characters becomes so clear so quickly; the plot is pretty incredible for myself as the protagonist. Sure, the fight scenes don’t have wild creatures or occur at light speed in outer space. But they might as well have. Mind tricks occurred during casual dinner table conversations, conference calls and office space walk abouts. School was another world in a galaxy far, far away. One that gave me hope and refuge and training. My Jeep Liberty was the Millennium Falcon. It’s easy for me to see whose hands I’d place a blue light saber, and whose hands I’d put a red one — across the board. I had an army of Jedi with me. Wise sages, messengers, comic relief enthusiasts and a miscellany of necessary roles were needed. The loyalty of extraordinary friends and the unconditional love of family.
Leaders and role models among us. Those who have the patience to know your journey and the perspective to show you your destiny. “Is this really a question? This is exactly what you’ve worked for. You must go.”
It was undeniable truth. There were sacrifices and missteps. There was risk and there was loss. There was tremendous gain. There was joy and laughter. There was a calling. There was a once-denied, twice-accepted answer. There was trepidation and upset. There was gas lighting. There was grieving. There was good and there was evil, and there was mutual purpose. I doubt the Force has a preference. It just makes you decide.
Like Rey, I was holding out hope. Like Luke, I was convinced of the Good I saw in everyone. Like Star Wars, I have lived a saga-like trilogy, with Episodes ending in 2006, 2011, and now in 2015. I have been consistent in my goodness, resound in my grace.
A Force Awakens brilliantly demonstrates this strength in its characters, particularly Rey. It undoubtedly shows Good can leave a mark. It can kick your ass when it wants to, and with authority, and indeed, it can leave you scarred. It can shake the ground beneath your feet and leave a canyon of devastation between the path you cannot follow, and the one you must blaze for yourself. It is unapologetic and it feels like victory.
Goodness knows. Now I do too.
May the Force be with you in 2016.