Updated: Jan 2, 2019
2018. You were a hell of a year. In all senses. You brought me to my knees from both utter pain and awe in the magic of this world. I have come to know my own strength and fortitude like I never knew possible, and with this knowledge a power that is undeniable. And yet, I hope for gentler experiences in the coming year. Ones where this strength, though known and always present, may not be needed as steadfastly as before. 2018, you were a year of balance and persistence. I learned the lesson of letting go - of relationships and friendships and jobs and expectations. It didn't seem to matter whether the choice was mine or not, these transitions and shifts were never particularly seamless and easy. However, this lesson in letting go repeatedly provided a great understanding that in release, anything is possible. Perhaps, just perhaps, in not clinging to ideas of how things should have been or could be, we open up opportunities for things to be better than we ever could have imagined.
Life, I have been shown again and again, is not linear. It wanders and meanders and unexpectedly jogs left when you had every intention of turning right. And my eyes never fail to widen when I realize that just around that bend I wasn't planning on is something I had never before dreamt possible. This has happened enough times this year that I know it to be true, and work to slip into a state of trust when feeling uncertain or off track. I know life doesn't turn out exactly as we always wanted. A year and a half ago my thought of where I was headed was dramatically different than what it is now. Then I imagined 2018 would bring me a ring on my finger and my wedding in sight. Instead, I was the single girl for the first time in eight years attending six weddings; experiences serving up simultaneous feelings of love and happiness and contrast and anguish like I'd never felt. Another lesson of 2018 brought an understanding that all emotions, even seemingly contradictory ones, can exist in the same moment, in the same body, in the same heart. Life is all encompassing. Whoah, is it ever. Compassion, compassion, compassion. In heaps for everyone, yourself included.
2018, you crazy, crazy friend. I am grateful for you. You changed me and I hope I made you proud. It wasn't all heartache and arduous transformation this year. You brought me joyous times with friends and family. A masters degree and a new job. So many things to celebrate and people to celebrate them with; hello, 30s! Travel to distant and not so distant corners of the world. Loyalty and kindness in unforeseen, and undoubtedly appreciated places. Surprise encounters with people who left lasting impressions. Kindred spirits collided, expanding soul family ever more. I fell in love at least twice - maybe three times. And while I may have loved and lost (and some's still out to be decided) I wouldn't change a thing. For in the wacky and sometimes outrageously uncomfortable space that was 2018 there was beauty and laughter and that tingling feeling that lets me know nothing is coincidence.
So on this first day of the new year, where many look forward with excitement and eager eyes, I just want to take a moment to tip my hat in gratitude to the past year... and then delightfully say goodbye. Lesson number one, am I right 2018? Let. It. Go. There is so much to be celebrated in the highs and lows and ever changing life. Here's to a year that taught me more than I wanted, but not more than I needed. May the lessons I learned help make the future a bit gentler, the twists and turns more joyous, and the trusting that all is just as it should be and the best is yet to come a little bit easier. Welcome, 2019. I'm very glad to see you.