Hello, 2016

Greeting you is a relief. The anxiety surging through many months of your predecessor is replaced with a place of calm.This past year was rich in the most forward of ways and poor in ways left undisclosed…rich in experience, for better or for worse, and lessons with the same takeaway.

I start this year not with resolutions but intentions rooted in the teachings that major events, however joyful, however challenging, have passed on. I have  finally come to realize and maybe even appreciate the meaning and importance and necessity of inward struggle. I have also come to realize and maybe even appreciate the meaning and importance and [perhaps even] necessity of pleasure.

I am happy. So say me, despite my chronically serious look and words of cynicism I dole out for laughs, I am. I find myself here after finally spending time to get to know myself, to know my needs and my goals and recognize that knowledge is mine alone to act on. But with that knowledge comes a duty and responsibility to act. That is the work that shall bear the sweetest fruit.

I think about that fulfilled dreams of 2015 and know this year poses the same potential. It is important that I take time, however, to soak in the clarity brought by three hundred and sixty-five days of life and realize what it means to the person I see in the mirror today, she who is overly eager to see future worth.

Love

photo by Rachel Thurston

I learned about self-love in 2015. I learned that it goes deeper than self-care, but that that’s important too. Caring for yourself is not vain, while loving yourself is not selfish.  I learned that self-love it is the most-tempting type to mark as conditional.

So, in 2016, when things are right, or when they seem very very wrong, I will love myself during those times, perhaps even more in the latter times.

photo by Rachel Thurston

 

I learned that the exchange of pure love with another independent-minded being is one of the greatest gifts of this life. It comes in so many forms, so many intangible forms that can only be felt or sensed. It is an overwhelming feeling. I mean that in the best, most complex way.

In 2016, we dance in the bright light brought upon by months and years of hard work and prioritized communication. We let ourselves experience the pleasure of the life we have created together and commit to the understanding that our relationship, like us, is alive and thus always, always changing.

Presence

Breathing in, savoring and feeling fleeting moments was one of the hardest things for me this year. I wished away so many! I vowed to allow bear witness to moments of discomfort or angst, but instead i numbed them in any way I could.

So with presence comes patience. I am committed to finding peace in and assurance in these moments, not anxiety. I am committed not for the lofty goal of each someday meaning something more, but instead for the meaning of each one today.

In 2016, I believe in my ability to rest a little easier, to take things a little or a lot slower, to listen and be open to what comes.

Gratitude

There were times this past year that I found myself in sort of a surreal state. I just could not believe the where I was, who I was with, what I was feeling; I could not believe the fortune I had been granted in so many ways. We have a home of our own, jobs, and most importantly, each other. We cook the best food we can buy, travel as far and as deep as we can, and have, as my father-in-law everything ahead of us. And while I do my best to focus on these gifts, respect and cherish each one before ever desiring another, it is hard not to feel twinges of guilt.

In 2016, I will try to practice gratitude, not guilt. Being a conscious and loving citizen of this world is a central pillar of the person I want to be. But, taking all of its problems as my own, depriving myself of joy because others cannot partake in the same is helpful to  no one.

I will love, be present for, and cherish this life of mine. I will acknowledge its value, contribute in the ways I know how, and try my damnedest to be a person that can share joy in any small way so that others can feel its value too.

Wishing you all the best of new years. May you love  yourself and those around you and engage in this crazy journey.

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