Alright friends, so it's no secret that I've been slacking on my blogging. I forgot how demanding A Christmas Carol was last year and this year has been no different. Every week we've had 10 shows, and we just finished 14 shows in a row with no days off before Christmas Eve. My actor friends know how crazy this is, but for those of you who aren't actors, 8 shows a week is standard. Anything beyond that feels like, "why am I still singing Christmas Carols right now?" It's been demanding, but who can complain when you're doing what you love.
Nevertheless, I never intended for my blog to take the backseat that it did. I tried to reason that I could wait until the new year to get a new post up, but that just didn't sit right in my spirit. I knew I had to write something before 2015 came to a close, so here I am! And what a year it's been. When I reflect, all I can think is what a crazy, unexpected, challenging in every way, but beautiful year it's been. I've grown in ways I couldn't have even imagined and I'm still learning and growing every day.
Thank you 2015 for the challenges.
Without them I never would have learned to persevere.
Thank you for the heartbreak.
Without it I never would have learned what I truly deserve.
Thank you for the pain.
Without it I never would have found my strength.
Thank you for the confusion.
Without it I never would have found my purpose.
Thank you for the doubt.
Without it I never would have found my faith.
And thank you for the solitude.
Without it I never would have learned to rely on God.
Thank you for pushing me to my limits in all areas of my life, usually simultaneously.
Thank you for teaching me that there is power in sharing my story.
Thank you for teaching me that there is no shame in revealing my flaws.
Thank you for allowing me to embrace my vulnerability.
Thank you for forcing me to stop hiding.
In 2015 I leave behind the idea that I have to live up to anyone else's expectations. I leave behind the thought that I am not enough, and I leave behind the HORRIBLE habit of shrinking to make others feel comfortable.
I'm finally learning to love the woman I've become and I can't wait to share more of her with you in 2016. Expect big things from Just Du Pree this coming year! I'm talking recipes, and more than just my famous sweet potato pie, workouts (finally), guest blogs, more tools for natural healing and living, more information about eczema, topical steroid withdrawal, leaky gut, hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue, and tools to live a happy, purpose filled life. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement. This blog is my baby, and it's been amazing to watch her grow with friends like you.
Happy New Year loves! I hope your 2015 was filled with lessons to prepare you for the greatness in store in 2016. I pray that in this new year you learn to be bold, fearless, and unapologetically true to yourselves. And if you're already all of those things, I pray that you continue to be a positive influence to those who surround you. Much love and until next time!
I'm Lauren, aka Just Du Pree, and I want to thank you for reading. This is a space where I share my very personal journey healing from eczema and topical steroid withdrawal (among other things), life lessons I've learned along the way, and occasionally the thoughts of an awkward Black girl (no Issa Rae). I'm a performer and filmmaker, so if you feel so inclined, pop over here to see what goes on in my mind on the regular. If you like what you see, you can stay up to date with my work here. Much love, friends!