It is the time of the year where all the biggest celebrations of the year pile up for me in one week: Christmas, my birthday, and New Year’s Eve. It’s been a week of spending quality time with people I love, watching movies galore, eating and sleeping well, puttering, listening almost exclusively to medieval and renaissance music, and just recovering from a rich and busy year. My celebration-time looks decidedly different than it used to.

I feel weirdly like a traitor saying this, being that 2016 has been such a challenging, devastating year for so many of us for so many reasons. However, this year has undeniably been my best year yet. I suppose it says something about my past. I’m grateful that the last seven years of my life have each been better than the one that came before it.

This year I was rewarded for all the hard work that I’ve been putting into my life and my career. I had the chance to tour for a month in Germany, I performed a string of concerts on the US West Coast, and had the opportunity to play in the UK for the first time in my life. I also started my residency at The Bowery Electric and have written a bunch of new songs that I’m proud of. I made great strides as an artist on every level of my craft, and I can’t express how rewarding that has felt. I’ve also felt a deepening of all of my closest relationships and feel more stable and balanced overall, and also more powerful in my life than ever before. I’ve felt such abundance that I’ve even been able to nurture others in a way that I haven’t in the past. I also feel more confident in sharing my thoughts and beliefs, even publicly, without the fear of being bullied. I can stand up for myself now.

It is such a paradox to be feeling this utterly new sense of personal power at the same time as I sense the structures of society that we all live in bending and stretching, squeaking and creaking. What 2017 will bring is anybody’s guess. There’s a powerful backlash going on in this world against all the gains that humanity has made in recent years, and that is truly terrifying. But I feel hopeful nevertheless. If I’m able to come out from this year being able to say that it was my best year yet, anything is possible.  Come what may in 2017, I’ll be there for it. Present and clear in my mind, sober, curious, defiant, powerful.

Against all odds, may 2017 surprise us and turn out to be the best year yet, for all of us.

With much love and gratitude,