Post-Christmas Positives and Words of 2015


I wanted to write a lot before Christmas. Updates on how the end of 2014 progressed differently from other years, especially in connection to the normal Christmas spirit. Working at my Christmas-overload retail day job kept me from feeling the spirit of the season practically until the 24th. Except for the Christmas lights. I still felt unabated joy when I turned the corner from the subway on the way home and saw the lights and ridiculous blow-up snowmen and Santa Clauses (hee hee).

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Thankfully, it feels like the positive Christmas spirit I was lacking at the end of the year has carried over to the new year, just like some of the great light displays in my neighborhood. Just because it’s now officially winter in all its ice and hibernation-inducing exterior conditions doesn’t mean that I can’t look at this new year with a somewhat sunny disposition.

Like last year, I have decided to pick a phrase. Not a resolution–the family all got Fitbits from Santa so that’s covered for me–but a mantra to guide me when the darkness seems to close in yet again.

Surrender to thrive. Thrive in the surrender.

If you don’t like it, it’s not your word of the year. For me, it means further embracing the unknown and uncertainty that I’ve come to see as my life path. It’s not about fighting it, but imagining the ways that surrendering to the unknown of a life in Toronto as a young playwright/dramaturg/screenwriter could be totally freeing.

Last fall when I thought I had no reason to stay here, a new living situation came out of the woodwork in my community. When I thought that I couldn’t take any more time away from my family, a trip to meet up in Atlanta all together fell into place. At the end of the year, new projects came my way because I stuck around and kept talking to the people in the theatre and academic communities that I care about, who are making work I respect.

I spent some time over Christmas break reuniting with childhood friends and staying up late most nights watching the home videos my mom transferred to DVD.

Do those flipped up sunglasses say "Future Playwright" or what?

Do those flipped up sunglasses say “Future Playwright” or what?

All of these reminded me that

  • I work hard
  • I’m a loyal person
  • I’m creative and a storyteller at my core
  • . . . and that if I keep being the person I am, it’ll all work out.

It’s not wishful thinking. It’s not blind optimism that the universe will do everything for me. It’s a reminder that I’m already doing a lot to help the universe put me where I need to be.

So . . . surrender.

As you might have guessed, it’s time to take a break from blogging again. After last year’s insane productivity, I’m readjusting my priorities. My craft only improves when I put real effort into it. Of course, I’ll break every once in a while to come back here for an update when a new project is premiering or I need some perspective once again. In the meantime I have to ask again: what’s your word for 2015?


About austinausten88

Playwright in love with Classic films, afternoon tea, and Noel Coward. She recently graduated from Rice University. In the fall, she will be exchanging her English major undergraduate status for that of Theatre & Performance Studies graduate student.
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4 Responses to Post-Christmas Positives and Words of 2015

  1. Brigid Amos says:

    Mine is: Return to Center. I have become very scattered in recent years. I’m trying to do too many things and losing sight of what is truly important.

    • How did I miss this comment? What lovely words. I hope they are working for you. I feel as if the universe is forcing me to surrender constantly. I’m slowly starting to get the idea.

  2. Pingback: One Word 365: 2016 edition | gladlybeyondaustinausten

  3. Pingback: One Word 2018 | gladlybeyondaustinausten

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