As this year inches towards its close, I want to take some time to reflect. I can honestly say that I’ve never been as challenged as I was in 2016. Everything that I thought I was certain about in life was pulled out from underneath me. On the last day of March, I was struck by a drunk driver and it kind of turned my world upside down (or right side up) depending on your perspective.
Up until that point I had been running on fumes in my relationship, my career, my friendships, ignoring my own needs and what needed healing. Sometimes dropping out of the day-to-day striving can feel like the scariest thing because it takes courage to really take stock of our lives and acknowledge what might need to be changed, especially if it’s something really big.
That car accident may have seemed like a burden at the time on top of everything I had going on, but looking back, I really see it as a blessing in disguise. It gave me the wakeup call I needed to make some major life changes that I’m not sure I would have made otherwise. Who knows how much longer I would have stayed on that track if not for something unexpected knocking me (literally) off of it?
As 2016 comes to a close I just thank God for all of the silver linings. Going through major heartbreak and uncertainty can certainly take its toll but it also creates this beautiful space for love to come in. I’ve never felt closer to my family and friends. They have been my rock and it is really their strength that has renewed my faith and made me excited for what lies ahead. As the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and I’ve never felt as strong as I do today.
Whatever you may be going through right now, I’m here to tell you that your burdens are your greatest blessings in this life and there is light up ahead. You just have to keep waking up, staying grateful for what you have, and always in search of the silver lining.
Wishing every single one of you joy, peace, and light in the coming year!
Today I am 32.
Today is a day to reflect and celebrate the journey —
the twists and turns,
the moments of love and beauty,
and the friends I’ve made along the way.
I have gotten back in touch with my desire to do good in this world and have decided that what I have today is enough.
I’m getting a tiny bit better at being here.
I am grateful for my life and especially for this past year — full of change and growth and pain.
I’ve made it to the other side and sometimes I am truly happy with the result.
I’ll remember what a hard and beautiful year 31 was.
It’s worth taking a leap and getting hurt.
You can always dust yourself off and give it another go.
Life goes on (or not), but we might as well try while we’re here.
“Someday, sometime, you will be sitting somewhere. A berm overlooking a pond in Vermont. The lip of the Grand Canyon at sunset. A seat on the subway. And something bad will have happened: You will have lost someone you loved, or failed at something at which you badly wanted to succeed. And sitting there, you will fall into the center of yourself. You will look for some core to sustain you. And if you have been perfect all your life and have managed to meet all the expectations of your family, your friends, your community, your society, chances are excellent that there will be a black hole where that core ought to be. I don’t want anyone I know to take that terrible chance. And the only way to avoid it is to listen to that small voice inside you that tells you to make mischief, to have fun, to be contrarian, to go another way. George Eliot wrote, ‘It is never too late to be what you might have been.’ It is never too early, either.”
Throughout my life there have been periods where I can’t make much sense of anything. I go to therapy, I read books and articles, but I still feel this sense of being lost and surrounded by this big cloud of uncertainty.
I start second guessing who I am and where I’m headed and just feel very distant from purpose. I get up, go to work, come home without really understanding what it’s all for.
After stumbling around for months, I’ll find my way back to words. While they have not shown up on this blog for some time, I have been eeking out scribbles in my journal…mostly questions like, “Am I on the right path?” “Is it time for a change?” “How can I carry on?”
I have been thinking so much about the future lately and whether I’m really setting myself up for the kind of life I can fully inhabit and enjoy. In my desire to create some perfect plan (or exit strategy), I miss the moments that are happening now.
As much as I still would like to know where I’m headed, I’m learning to enjoy the small everyday things until the fog clears. Enjoying a cup of fancy tea that I bought in NYC on a work trip. Laying on the couch with my boyfriend and running my fingers through his hair. Reading old love letters and poems that have been sitting in boxes for years.
I found this in an email that I wrote to my boyfriend almost 3 years ago (back when emails dared to be so vulnerable)…
We are here for a time and then we die, so we might as well try at something we really love while we’re here. We might as well push ourselves and chip away at achieving exactly what we set out to do. To experience flights of power and profound disappointment. To live at the height of our potential and not shy away from all that we are and desire.
Perhaps I will never figure anything out, but I will keep trying and I can love while I’m here.