It’s Saturday morning and I’m drinking coffee out of my Chihuahua themed mug (a Christmas gift to myself) and enjoying the solitude and silence of having one roommate spending the holidays in Texas, and the other out to breakfast with her boyfriend. A New Year is practically upon us folks – whether we like it or not. So it’s time to pretend we’re all going to get gym memberships, make more time for the things and humans we enjoy, and stop convincing ourselves that beer is an actual meal. With the exception of the sweet sounds of Missy Elliot telling me that it’s worth it to let her work it, put her thing down, flip it, and reverse it – it’s quiet over in my world; and it’s time for me to take advantage of that space and do some reflecting.
It’s been one hell of a year, and one that’s been full of paradoxes for me. I’ve felt so much happiness and sadness, my heart has been both broken and full; I’ve grown away from people I never thought I would and gotten closer to others. I’ve been both satisfied and dissatisfied, struggled and coasted; felt confident and also like I had no idea what I was doing. However, it’s been an amazing year simply because we’ve all had the chance to experience it. I don’t think you can know joy without pain or peace without panic, so in a way – the inconsistencies of life are what actually keep us balanced.
In 2013, my annual New Years blog entry focused on a slew of resolutions quirkier than Zooey Deschanel herself. I was to become well-versed in Quantum Physics, experiment with tantric sex, master the art of bird calling, adopt a dog, and I quote: “Drive across the country and find somewhere to live.” Ironically, despite the joking nature of some of my goals, I accomplished all of these things but one; and I’ll leave it to you to decide which one that was. Last year, my wrap up was cleverly entitled: 2014, You’re My Bitch. Despite the crude title, by this point in time I had succumbed to the fact I was probably a hippie and perhaps I had meditated or went on a vision quest before I sat down and wrote it, because it was much more full of introspection and promise and realistically considering what I wanted moving forward in my life. This year I decided that I once again wanted to switch it up. So without further ado, I will give you of few of my favorite things I learned in 2014.
The Lessons of 2014:
- Just because your Save the Date isn’t adorning anyone’s fridge, it doesn’t make you less of person. If you don’t have a plus-one to your company party it doesn’t mean you’re not loved. I’ve learned that it’s okay to be alone, in fact that I enjoy it. But I’ve also learned not to enjoy it too much, and that I’m not going to find my potential life partner by taking gratuitous baths, inside a bottle of Red Wine, or while having an in-depth conversation with my cat.
- I’ve always grappled with the art of letting go, and the power of release. It can be so hard to let go of people and things in this life; even if it’s something that is no longer working for you or serves you. Emerson once said: “There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.”It’s been a year of transition and change and I’ve come to realize that every perceived “loss” I’ve had is always replaced by a gain. Release, this life is so about release. The more we properly release, the more room there is for other things and there are so many other things.
- I’ve discovered fully that yogis aren’t as full of tofu and shit as I once perceived. I no longer worry about farting during shavasana, nor do I only go to yoga to scam on hot girls in Lululemon sports bras. I may still think that “downward facing dog” sounds like a sex position, but yoga has become a practice that is a significant part of my life, and has also taught me how important it is to find these practices that do us well, and to do them even when we don’t want to. It’s taught me to breathe and move with intention in all aspects of my life. To live with an open heart, to engage presently, and also let’s not forget – babes in spandex.
- I’ve learned to grant myself the uttermost compassion. That there’s nothing that can’t be repaired, whether it’s your sink or your soul. I accept that life isn’t always going to be sublime and fall into place; it’s a battle and a struggle that you will always live through. Sometimes you’ll get lost in a bottle of Jack Daniel’s and sometimes you will get lost in shavasana. In either event, it’s essential to honor your process even when it’s really unattractive and not something that you are proud of. Know that even in your darkest you are the light, and you will always find a way to shine.
- While most of my friends are busy doing things like reading ‘Good Housekeeping,’ or actually thinking about things like having children – I’m considering what kind of ramen I should cook myself for dinner and whether or not I can go another day without filling the gas tank of my car. But I can’t judge myself based on comparisons of people who are simply in a different place than me. Maybe I’ll never own a house, or have a car better than a beater. Maybe I’ll move back and forth between the East and West Coast because I can’t make up my mind. Maybe I’ll be a spinster and you’ll see me on ‘Hoarders’ where they uncover seventeen tiny cat skeletons and my adult diapers. Perhaps I’ll find a partner in crime to share my adventures with or maybe I’m meant for a solo-trip this time around. Who knows? That’s the beauty of it and something I’ve come to accept and know. As this journey unfolds all I can do is appreciate the weirdness and continue to live with integrity and greet my missteps with a smile and compassion.
- Barbara Streisand couldn’t have hit the nail on the head more when she said: “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.” My people are my world and I need to remember not to push them away from it when my world doesn’t look the way I want it to. I am beyond blessed to have collected the people I have – I’ve got some of the most unique humans that I get to call my friends, coworkers, and family – I am who I am because of the people who touch my life, both near and afar. However, you do need to be careful about who you let into your life, because not everyone is good for you and sometimes that’s the hardest thing to accept.
A New Year is upon us folks, like I said – whether your like it or not. Every year we’ve got this perceived new chance at life – we reflect, reconsider, and we are anew. But everyday we get that chance, and we need to constantly be taking inventory of ourselves and doing the best that we can at any given time. So let this New Year be a fresh start, but also let it be the beginning of your life when you realized time was all relative anyways, and we are capable of progressing without it having to be some calendar stamped time-of-year where we’re all supposed to be doing something. If you don’t want to make resolutions right now? Don’t. If you want to resolve to drink a Magnum bottle of wine by yourself for the next two months? Please do. Your life is about a lot of other people and things, but it’s mostly about you so go on and honor the shit out of yourself.
If I’m resolving to do anything this year I’m simply resolving to be happy. To celebrate what I want to see more of, to making my life look like the picture I have in my head. And it’s not a very detailed picture, in fact it’s quite grainy, but that’s another thing – I’m okay with that. I resolve to not just exist but live, take chances, make stupid mistakes that I will inevidently learn something important from and then move on. I will go on more adventures, never stop seeing the beauty around me, and I’ll write more. Because writing makes me happy, and I think my writing makes other people happy too. I will be a friend, a sister, an ally, a confidant, an employee and about a million other things. I wear a lot of hats in life which is great because I really like hats and I look good in them. I’ll never stop exercising my intuition, exploring my universe, and appreciating the simple things.
You are the master of your domain, and you get to decide what to do. Here’s to health, joy, and another chance to get it right. Cheers.