It is December 23. The fall semester recently ended, the year is about to, we are home with our families, the presents are wrapped and waiting to be opened. This is a time of year for thinking - not necessarily because it's a time of year that facilitates it, but because the circumstances demand it.
As students we are asked to evaluate our courses and our own accomplishments. This year, especially, there have been exhaustive evaluations and critiques of my work as an artist, my work as a student, myself as a person, my teachers, my advisors, my classes, my internship, my experience... it seemed endless until it was over.
The holidays bring families together and require us all to navigate the politics of our often scattered, blended, and/or complicated families. Many of us are also going to visit the places where we grew up after leaving 2... 7... 11 years or more (or less) ago which means reencountering familiar places and people which carry memories both good and bad.

For me, the evaluations are valuable, and coming home is largely a positive thing. But that doesn't mean I don't think a lot.
And then, in my family, there's the Christmas card letter, which is made up of a paragraph written by each family member about our past year. Fitting a year into a paragraph is not an easy task.
Finally, my family has a New Years book, where each of us is supposed record our reflections and resolutions for the new year.

I'm exhausted by it all already, and Christmas hasn't even started yet.

My Christmas paragraph is written and hopefully by tomorrow everyone will have finished theirs and we will stuff the envelopes. I'm planning on sharing my contribution here, or possibly the entire letter (if it's interesting enough). So you can look forward to that in the next few days.
I've also been thinking a lot about what to write in the New Years book, and once I have put it in words I'll probably share that with you as well (I would especially like feedback on it).

In the meantime, I want to wish everyone a happy holiday. Enjoy your festivities and good luck navigating your travels, your traditions, and your thoughts - the journey can be trying and tiring, but remember it is well worth it.

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