I’m not used to years like this.

In past years, I’ve set goals for myself, or resolutions. I wasn’t planning on it this year, as I want next year to be a continuation of this one. And yet, I know that it can’t be, that each year, each month, and each day, are unique unto themselves. Still, there are things I’d like to do, even though the easiest way to live life is just to move with it as it moves, and to adjust your goals and expectations accordingly. We can’t possibly know what’s coming, so flexibility is important.

For this next year, although I’ve been saying it a lot, I want to recommit to my writing. My goal isn’t exactly ambitious, but it feels that way right now. I’d like to post every 2 weeks. That would be roughly 26 blog posts next year, and that feels doable, like something I can achieve if I stay on task. I am fresh off of my 15-year high school reunion, and the unexpected surprise was multiple people talking to me about my writing. I am honored that anyone reads my ramblings, and so for me, that was all the motivation needed to get back to it, and to make it a bigger part of my life. I still enjoy it after all these years. I also appreciate the love.

Thinking back to this time last year, what comes to mind is a feeling of uncertainty, even though things had started to solidify. I had wanted the job I have now, but I was asked to be patient for months. It was challenging, not knowing what was going to happen. I’m not used to wanting things, or the prospect of profound happiness. I was asked to hold on, to hang out for a bit, and all the while, I was gaining experience as I trained for this prospective new role. Even if things didn’t work out, I had a way forward, something new to chase after, something that felt real. I had finally chosen something to specialize in, but it wasn’t what I thought it would be. I had wanted to go into marketing and/or communications, and I knew that by going after this new thing, that I may be forgoing that path for a while. The original path, who knows if I’ll ever get back there. I’m not going to spend much time thinking about it.

As it stands, this was the best year of my life, and there’s no second guessing it. I chose the right path. It was a year that asked a lot of me, and yet, I couldn’t help but give it everything that I had. It didn’t feel draining, but rather, this year was the unleashing of my potential. There was always a part of me that believed that if I could just find what I wanted to do, that I would excel. It’s that passion that I talked about with my Dad, that directionless passion, that just needed an outlet. In college, it was easy. All I had to do was go to classes, study, and do well. In the real world, however you choose to define it, I found the infinite choices to be overwhelming, and struggled to find what called to me the most. The search took a long time, shattering my confidence in the process. It felt like whatever potential I had was going to go unrealized. I worried I would spend the rest of my life never knowing what my purpose was supposed to be.

This year brought with it a lot of happiness, and my confidence continues to grow. I went on some incredible trips, worked in a role I loved, committed to my spiritual practice, connected with friends, spent time learning 2 languages, and found a sense of inner peace that has often proved to be elusive. It was an amazing year, but it was also a full year, too. There was frustration with dating, and also the hard realization that some things do not last forever, or even as long as you want them to. Maybe there’s also the frustration that some people haven’t changed at all. There were hard moments, and yet, I’m not sure I’d want it any other way. I am doing my best to welcome all that life has to offer, in all it’s gritty texture. I want the full emotional palette. I have been pushed to my limit, occasionally my breaking point, only to realize that I didn’t break, that I keep not breaking. Sometimes I’ve felt broken, only to realize that after some recovery and healing, I’m ready to get back at it. There’s this inner strength that helps me to rise to the occasion, and maybe what I’m realizing is that the limit does not exist.

The end of this year is somewhat bittersweet. I’m blessed to be able to go for round 2, to keep chasing my dream, or rather, to continue living my dream. I get to keep working with the incredible team that was one of the reasons I wanted to stay. So much good, and yet, I know that things are changing, and that some people won’t be there in the same capacity next year. You don’t often realize how attached you are to certain people, until you are faced with the prospect of change, of your relationship changing. It’s a different kind of loss, knowing that things are going to be different. With less common ground, it can be difficult to keep people in your life. It becomes a true test of just how strong your friendship really is. I believe in the friendships that I’ve built along the way, but you never know how life will twist and turn. I wouldn’t want to know the future, but maybe a peak would help me to feel more at ease. Of course, sometimes we find out the answers, and they are not to our liking.

This next year holds a new kind of uncertainty. I have the role that I want, and yet, there’s been a purging of sorts happening in my life. There isn’t bitterness or hostility towards anyone. What’s happening instead is that I’m choosing to let certain people go. I’m looking at the relationships in my life that have become one-sided, and I’m saying to those people, “You’re wonderful. I wish you happiness and fulfillment, but with our relationship as it is presently constituted, I can’t keep hanging on. I can’t keeping pouring myself into this situation, when there’s so little reciprocity.” It would be easy to be angry, but I’m getting better at respecting people and their journey, differing perspectives and the like. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt to let people go. It doesn’t mean that I’m not sad, it’s just the simple admission that I want people in my life that also want me. Symmetry is beautiful. Asymmetry will drain you.

It feels like I’m standing on the precipice of a brand-new beginning, except I don’t know what it’s going to look like. A good friend encouraged me to think of it as clearing space for the new, and I appreciate that perspective. I’m trying to operate from a glass-half-full perspective these days, even though it’s easy to default to my inner pessimist, the little voice that says, “What if no one is coming?” I do my best to make my peace with that voice, and to work on believing that good things are coming, that there will be new people, and wonderful opportunities. I don’t know what will be asked of me, but the attitude of just digging in, the attitude I’ve carried with me the past year, has served me so incredibly well that I know I need to continue with it. Just dive right in, and learn how to swim.

Only I could take a post about the best year of my life and bring it in a dark direction, or maybe it’s not dark, it’s just about growth, and accepting what life has to offer. There’s even a reason to believe that this year will be better than the last. I started last year a bit nervous, wondered if the role I’d pursued so intensely, whether I’d actually like it, or even be good at it. I have my footing now, a ton of experience, and so I know that for 2023, I’ll continue to build off of an incredible foundation. In other aspects of my life, I have grown a lot. Maybe I’ve needed to change to get ready for this new chapter of my life. I could look back at my past and romanticize my youth, but I it would be too hard to look past the fact that the person that I was, that they were fighting to survive. I do my best to stay anchored in the present. A previous lack of direction has helped me to appreciate what now I have. I love where I am, and I’m so curious to see what happens next. I’m sure that 2023 will go by way too fast, but as for right now, I’m choosing to turn a reflective eye towards the year that was, and to bask in the glow of accomplishment for a little longer. Maybe just one more day. Thanks for reading.


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