I’m sitting here, in front of a bank of holiday cards, trying to figure out how to sum up 2011, for APW and for me. It’s hard to put words to it because it was a huge year. It was a wonderful year, but also it was a hard year. I quit my job to work for APW full time. I wrote a book. David started a new job. APW doubled in size. (In content: Two posts a day now! And in readers: Hi all you new ladies! And in staff: Hello to Kate, Emily, and Maddie!) We threw a huge party in New York to celebrate marriage equality. David and I traveled. My book came out.
That, my friends, is enough for three years rolled into one. In case you were wondering if it was a brillant idea to write a book from scratch, and have it launch, all in the same year while running a business: It’s a CRAZYPANTS IDEA. And I don’t mean that in the “you should do it” kind of way. Uh-uh. This year didn’t stop coming at me, and through all of it I was trying to navigate through the waters of self-employment for the first time. It wasn’t easy, and I spent a lot of time looking wide-eyed and worried about just how I was going to pull any of it off. But I did. We did. Somehow.
But it was also a wonderful year. And the wonder of it all washed over me in the moments I was able to be still. In August, I realized just what we’d created while listening to a single cello play “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” as two grinning men walked down the aisle to be married legally in New York State. In September, I got to look at the pages of my book for the first time in the Istanbul airport, and it felt like floating on air. Earlier this month, I toasted with tequila and it sunk in that my book had made the Amazon bestseller list. In pre-orders. In the holiday season. Whoa. Last week, I opened a box from my publisher to find stacks of books, each with my name right on the cover and tiny fireworks went off over my head.
And this weekend. This weekend we had a staff party, and I was just generally enjoying myself, like it was any regular party. But then, toward the end, I looked around the Karaoke room as everyone sung along to the Dixie Chicks version of “Landslide” (Who requested that? For shame! Always request the original version of Landslide! It’s a rule!) and I realized that this wasn’t just any old group of people. This was the APW staff, APW sponsors, and the APW community. It was the community that grew out of something I started. And that was a huge thing. And blessing and a responsibility, but also a joy.
So now, I’m looking forward to spending some time quietly. Relaxing. Thinking. 2012 is going to be huge, judging from my travel schedule in January. And I want to go into it with a full heart, feeling replenished.
Thank you, each of you, for the crazy amazing joy and growth in 2011. Thank you for bringing your voice to APW and for making it a great place to come to work every day. We’ll have one more post this afternoon, but really, I’m wishing for nothing but the best for you and yours this holiday season.
Everything calm, everything bright…