Yesterday was my New Year's Day - or, my birthday. It's the day the feels most natural for me to set intentions for the year ahead, start fresh, and (as I get older) contemplate what I learned over the previous 12 months. I wont lie, the last year was a tough one. I honestly felt out of control for a good part of it. A while ago, I may have said that the Universe was testing me. But, now that I know better, I think I was testing myself. It was like I woke up on the wrong side of the bed one day, which in turn set about a cascade of difficult decisions and events. I learned a lot about what works and doesn't work as far as the Universe having your back. I failed with many intended outcomes, eventually getting them right when the lesson I needed to learn was learned. I ended up peeling back layers of existence that had built up over the decades, in order to find parts of me that hadn't seen the light of day since 'life' got in the way at a young age. I went and changed my belief system... about myself. And I'm grateful for all of it as I move forward into another year.
When going through times of struggle, I turn to sources of inspiration, mainly in books and even social media these days. It's the words and stories of others that have helped me through heartache and loss, confusion and doubt many times. Perhaps the biggest, and most important, lesson I've learned is that I'm not alone in life's experiences. We tend to have more in common with each other, as we navigate through this life, than not. Which is why I am now attempting to be vulnerable enough to share my own stories, good and bad. If something I share touches even one person in a positive way, then it's worth it. So, I'm going to use my platform here to pass along some of the realizations I came to over the past year.
I learned that it's okay to start over. At anything. At anytime.
I learned that it's okay not to have a plan. A five-year plan. A one-year plan. Or even a plan for next week. Life keeps going on, ready or not. Things happen that you can't plan for. And you'll get through it all.
I learned that it's okay to stay put. Especially if leaving is preventing you from finding what you need to find, which is right where you already are.
I learned that it's okay to leave. Relationships. Jobs. Habits. Or anything that no longer suits who you are now.
I learned that it's okay not to be that person anymore. The person from yesterday, a year ago, or decades ago. Everyone has the right to change.
I learned that it's okay not to have what others have. Houses, jobs, cars, vacations, marriages, and children. We all have a story with our own plot lines, props, and characters. Write something that nobody else has.
I learned that it's okay if nobody understands. You don't need the approval or opinion or others to validate your life. As long as you understand it - eventually - it's good.
I learned that it's okay to take that selfie. To love yourself. To love your life. And document and share it in any way you see fit.
I learned that it's okay not to be okay when everyone else is. But, it's also okay to be okay when others aren't. You don't need to be at the mercy of people's emotions, actions, past experiences, or present-day problems. Live your own truth.
I learned that it's okay to surrender. Control is an illusion. But choice is very real. You always have a choice, and letting go is one.
I learned that it's okay to have flaws and failures and losses. Because if you can drop the judgement, they aren't negative. They just are what they are and usually an opportunity for something better. It's called growth.
I learned that it's okay to have faith. Not the kind in a god or higher being. That faith is fine too. But have faith in yourself, where the real power is.
And I learned that it's okay to be another year older. There are 365 birth days in a year. We're all getting there.
Happy Summer! xx