I love everything about New Years. Not the parties or the festivities; drinking or wild crowds but the peace that comes over me as the last day of the year arrives. I do my own little rituals. I honor all the lessons I learned, remember those who I lost, spend time laughing at all the little moments that made me happy and revisit the ones that made me sad. I look for what I did right and what I did wrong. Decisions I made and the motivations behind them. I feel pride at my successes and my failures. I failed a lot this year, made a lot of mistakes. All of which I am incredibly proud of - because if I failed, if I screwed up big time, it showed me that I tried something new. It showed me I had the courage to get out there and do something. So, it didn't work or was a complete and epic disaster! So, what? At least I tried. That's something. I may not have found the perfect way or thing to do - but I found out what not to do and that just gets me one step closer.
One step closer to what? No idea. I ask myself this all the time. Thing of it is, something I've learned, the not knowing is the essence of life. None of us know where all the steps we are taking are leading to. No one knows with any certainty what the next hour, day or month will bring. We can guess. We can hope and dream. Or we can sit idly by and hold our breath while life continues to happen all around us.
I, for one, am done holding my breath. I am done watching life happen. My mistakes may get even bigger from here on out because I am going to take bigger steps. All of my life up to this moment has been spent doing what everyone else needed me to do. Now, as I end this year; which I have come to see as a huge year of closure, of moving on, of rediscovering parts of myself I had long forgotten about and meeting for the first time other parts I never even knew existed, I only know one thing for certain and that is... To fully embrace our lives, our journey and to reach the goals and aspirations we have for ourselves, we must own every facet of our lives. Our thoughts, our inner voice that whispers inside our minds and our actions. We must live life on purpose. We must learn the art of mindfully letting go - bad memories, attachment to the past or whatever it is holding us back. We are our choices and those choices will be what defines where we go in the New Year.
A New Year on its own - holds no power. It’s simply a blank book for us to fill with our stories.
I can't remember how many times I fell asleep clutching it like a favorite stuffed animal, possibly a hundred, maybe more. For a long time I would take it with me everywhere I went, and when I needed an escape, I would simply let it fall open and start reading where ever my eyes would land. The pages worn and starting to tatter, the cover loved to within an inch of its life - Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery was where I would go to escape reality. Seeing a kindred spirit within the lead character, I have carried her with me all these years.
One of the most treasured lines in the story is from Anne's favorite teacher; “Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it...well with no mistakes in it yet.” I repeat this to myself often, as I am always making mistakes. Always. Once upon a time I would chastise and berate myself for making a mistake. I was my own worst critic. However, I have come to appreciate them, embrace them and see the wisdom that comes from making them. I have also learned - to stop holding onto them. Tomorrow is a fresh new day...
Actually, tomorrow is a fresh New Year.
To fully embrace our lives, our journey, and to reach the goals and aspirations we have for ourselves, we must own every facet of our lives. Our thoughts, our inner voice that whispers inside our minds and our actions. We must live life on purpose.
The New Year will be filled with what we bring to it. Yes, shit will happen. Awesome stuff will, too. How we handle both is what will define us. You can let it beat you or you can stand your ground and handle yourself. Be open to the lessons, learn from your mistakes, toughen up and be soft at the same time. Love yourself. Love others. Be mindful of your journey. Look for ways to bring happy into your life. Balance. Be free at last from a past you can't do a damn thing about now. Love your flaws. See the beauty in them. Stop hiding all that is awesome about you. Some will love it, others will not. Let the ones who don't – go, and hold on to those who see you for who you really are. Be who you really are. If that is a kick ass strong woman with things to say and goals to attain - be her. If that is a man who wants to stay home with the kids and be the stay-at-home dad, be him. Stop accepting roles that society dictates you must play and play the roles you want. Your life. Yours. If something isn't working, change it. Stop bitching and complaining and do the work. Stop comparing your life to anyone else’s. It's not worth the energy. Stop gossiping and talking about others. Be honest in all you do. Even if others do not agree. If you live in honesty, with solid integrity and stand firm in this - you have grown into yourself. Stop explaining to people who don't give a damn about you. If they don't like it - show them the door. No more excuses. No more woulda-coulda-shouldas. If you want something, make it happen. Put yourself out there. Stop judging others. Focus on you. Heal yourself, yes. But don't take forever to do it. The pieces will never go back to exactly as they were before something in your world broke. It sucks, yes. Deal with it. Now. Face it, embrace it, make peace with it and then - let it go. Listen to yourself. Really listen. Follow your gut, your instinct. If you love someone - say so. Stop hiding. If you don't love someone - say that, too. Then, move on. It's not fair to you or them. Sometimes, love ends. People grow in different directions. Life changes, accept that.
As the year draws to a close figure out what you want to bring into the new one with you and what you want to leave behind. You made it to this moment. “Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it...well with no mistakes in it yet.” Allow yourself to hope, dream and be. Allow yourself freedom. Make mistakes and leaps of faith. Feel your strength and understand this; where you go from this moment is up to you.
May the days, weeks and months to come show you what you have on the inside, help you embrace your amazing self and love without limits. May you discover what makes you come alive and find the strength and courage you need to do just that!
Happy New Year.
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