This has been a week of endings. How appropriate that the conclusion of this collaboration should fall on not just any Friday, but the "last Friday." So far no signs of the world according to the Mayan calendar coming to an end, but it's symbolic none the less. I had my doubts.
Speaking of doubts, that's how I'd like to approach my goodbye-summary of this whole experience. A year ago, Danielle petitioned a number of her girlfriends to be repeated guest writers on her blog. I happened to be among the group of women she invited to participate. She asked for a year-long commitment, with the goal of showing our readers that we were "regular" young ladies, all at about the same place in life, with similar interests but very different personalities. Immediately, I doubted her. Worse, I doubted her openly. Yes, I was the Judas of the group. I was concerned about many things. I didn't personally know the other women who would be involved, I was worried about everyone else's commitment level, I was concerned about the quality of the others' contributions. I was just plain doubtful, and sure that it would flop. By the time I felt reassured enough to consider being a "Yes Man" and playing along, she had filled all four slots with volunteers.
I then became a reader. I was already a follower of Danielle's blog; she's my best friend, so of course I read her work. But now, every week day, I was also a follower of her friends. After about three months, I was impressed everyone had stuck around. I was still doubtful about the overall project, though. I kept expecting it to piddle out when everyone inevitably got bored. But week after week, there were your five posts on Sunday Hatch. Reliably fun, educational, and entertaining.
About halfway through the year, due to extenuating circumstances, Danielle had an opening for Friday's guest blogger spot. She gave me - the Judas-doubter friend - a second chance. This time, I didn't doubt and I didn't hesitate. I said, "Yes! Count me in!" You might regret that decision, having to listen to me week after week prattle on about stuff, but I've really enjoyed it. I have been so impressed with these ladies, and so thankful that even though I've never met any of them, I have grown to feel as though we are friends. I have shared their lives for a whole year, as a reader and a fellow collaborator. I am proud. Proud of Danielle, for seeing possibilities, following her instincts, and being a talented leader. Proud of us for all sticking to our commitment. Proud of YOU for following along!
The way I'll tie all of this together is to remind everyone, all of us, that this is the Season to put aside doubt. Doubt in ourselves, and doubt in other people. Spend time considering we have all been given second chances. We have all been forgiven. We are all free to become better people, to strive for peace, and to see the good in others. Danielle had the foresight to see what common good could come of this project.
I doubted, but I see it now. And it was so so so good.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from my family, to yours.