Skip to content

2017: Time To Shine

Nothing can dim the light which shines from within. 

Maya Angelou

I truly believe that there is still shine in us even during our darkest hours.  I know this because I watched my grandma die. It was both one of  the most horrible experiences in my entire life and oddly one of the most intimate moments that I had shared with her and as a family.

Between slipping in and out of this world, she sang songs that streamed from a small CD player. All of her favourites like Frank Sinatra and, and, and damn whomever it was that burned Judy Garland’s “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. We had to sing that song for her at least a dozen times.

I am still haunted by the tune that caressed our brokenness in the moments of silence.

She joked about old stories of skipping out of school, her kids paper macheing the freshly painted pink bedroom, and falling in love with my Bubba who had stalked her walking home one night.

Once she had fallen into what we thought was the final stretch, she shocked us all when she had sprung up for air. When she realized she was still with us she moaned, “F**k me!” and flopped back down on her pillow. I never laughed so hard at someone dying.

Her body suffered through each stage yet she had this shine about her and never not once let cancer or death take it from her.

I often watch the people that sit in my psychiatrist’s office out the corners of my eyes.

I don’t know what they’re specifically there for but I can sense the pain in the way their world immediately rests like a thousand pounds  over their rolled shoulders when they take a seat.

I can see the way they wring their worry in between their fingertips or twist it in tattered tissues or sling their leg over the other and kick it wildly out from under them – over and over and over.

Some blindly flip through the pages of magazines without even reading – distract, distract, distract, flip, flip, flip.

Then there are the ones who shuffle in just barely lifting their feet off the floor. It’s as if you can almost see in person how cruel mental illness is as it tries to murder their shine.

But no screw you, that person says.

I’m here.

I made it to the doctor.

I’m coming to get better.

(At least that’s what I think they’re thinking)

I see shine in that person and in all of us sitting in that office. We might not feel it all the time but it’s HOPE that we hold (sometimes very loosely) as we walk through that door.

Hope that there is something more than feeling like life is like waking up and suffocating on the wrong side of the bed every single day.

It’s hope that we can be ourselves again.

And we are there.

We are still in there – that shine.

When I am sick, I tend to gravitate back to dark journals that I’ve written – like the journal entries when I was hospitalized. They were written on scraps of paper because the nurses confiscated my spiral notepad and then glued back into that notebook after discharge.

The inside cover – I dressed it up after my admission to cheer me up.

“It’s a danger to yourself” they told me. I had written an entire page about how ridiculous it was and listed all the things I could harm myself with from the window blinds to the corners of the closet doors and eating the possibly poisonous hospital plants. I know people would probably question why I would have kept such a horrible part of documented time in my life but these journals remind me of what I’ve been through.

And that I’ve overcome it.

That my shine is hella strong.

WE all are baby.

I don’t make resolutions. I choose words. Then I Pinterest the heck out of quotes related to the word. It makes me feel all fuzzy on the inside.

This year I chose “You were meant to SHINE.”

I want to remember that I’m still here even when I feel like I’m not.

That I am my own light.

That I can be someone else’s light – kindness, compassion, respect goes a long way when someone is in the dark.

I am awkward and weird and unique and smart and damn it…

I should be proud to shine.

Also me:

Going into 2017 like: I Got This Bitches…but in case I don’t, I know I’ll be ok.

If you’re down with resolutions, just remember this:

The year is long and therefore you have a lot of days to accomplish whatever it is you’re after.

You’re human and you make mistakes.

Allow yourself to make them.

Like eating cake and cookies and skipping the gym from time to time.

Hell, I haven’t been to a gym since 2003. My arteries scream “noooo!” every time I open a chip bag.

Be good to you.

And this song is my everything right meow:


Mama’s Losin’ It
Prompt: Did you pick a Word Of The Year for 2017? Share!


  1. I think it is truly a gift to be able to see the “shine” in people, especially when it is buried under years of tragedy, grief and sadness. Thank you for the reminder to look.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Always look beyond – people are more than just a diagnosis and what is ailing them and haunting them. They’re there. Always there.

  2. I have known there was something nagging at me to be thought, to be recognized, but I couldn’t figure out what it was until yesterday…I am facing the anniversary of the last hospitalization (January 13). That was a really, really dark time for me. I had no idea if I would survive. I had hidden my method for my demise in my room…but I am here. A year later, I am here!! By the grace of God, I am here. Shine sounds like a great word to me. Shine.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Big hugs friend. You’ve come such a long way!
      I’m glad that you’re here.
      Shine girl, shine xoxo

  3. You do have one hella strong SHINE! I love reading your posts. Everyone has some shine in them! Even if they don’t see it, others will!

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      THank you so much Morgan!
      We all have it in us! Every single one of us!

  4. I love everything about this post <3 Blessings to you Kimberly and may you shine brightly in 2017!

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Thank you so much Mackenzie! I hope that you have a wonderful 2017!

  5. I love your word of the year. Let everyone see your shine.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Thank you so much Traci 🙂

  6. This is beautiful. And I think now more than ever, people are in need of light and need to recognize how much light each one of us is capable of spreading. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Thank you Cheryl. Yes – knowing that we can be a light for others too is so important. Being sick I rely on others light. Kindness, compassion, love. It all goes around.

  7. SHINE. I love it. Might be my favorite? My word is WHOLE, but it amazes me how much I need to think and feel about others to accomplish my own wholeness.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      OH WHOLE is a fabulous and complex word too!
      Wow. Thinking of it gives me goosebumps actually. All the things that word entails. Good one girl. Good one.

  8. Kat Kat

    I have word envy. Shine is a great one and I’ll be honest I do think you manage to do just that all year long!

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Awwwww…thanks Kat!!!

  9. Thank you for sharing such an intimate part of your life with us. You are strong, and you’ve got this. I’ve got chills thinking about the future. WOW! Visiting from Mama Kat…

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      THank you so much Jennifer. I feel better about this year than I did the last. I hope that you have a wonderful 2017 *insert fist bump!* xo

  10. ***I can see the way they wring their worry in between their fingertips or twist it in tattered tissues***

    I just LOVE your observations, details, nuances that make your writing real, authentic.

    You “SHINE” like sun…

    …inside hearts, Kimberly.

    My word is always the same: Evolving.

    xxxx From MN.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Evolving is such a wonderful word for you Kim. I love it. And I do see you evolving every single year through your writing…pushing…pushing…pushing…and taking us all on your journey and fight. You’re amazing friend. xoxo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *