It’s Sunday evening and I am curled on my sofa soaking in the delicious luxury of living alone in a two-bedroom apartment, right by the beach, in one of my favourite countries in the world. My cup of 100% pure Mexican ceremonial cacao is sitting empty beside me, as is my journal, open to today’s entry, while I balance my laptop on a cushion in my lap and ‘A Star Is Born’ is streaming in the background.
It’s the penultimate day of 2018 and I’ve been contemplating what this year has been to me. 2018 taught me what I don’t want.
When I look around at social media feeds the overlying message I keep seeing is this “omfg thank god that’s over” and “phew, what a ride, get me off now” and I feel like a black sheep in saying that I don’t see it this way. In fact, it’s all very silly, this idea that one thing ends abruptly and a new thing begins. That concept of moving from 2018 to 2019 is just that, a notion, a way of separating time into orderly timeframes that we can measure and understand. For me, time is more like a music set list where each song fades into the next, as each year flows from one kind of rhythm to another.
2018 was a symphony orchestra muddled with trap and drenched in heavenly vocals. It was all about contrast. And it was from this contrast that a new vision for my life started to seed itself.
2018 saw me leave a relationship and for the first time in my life, I chose myself. As women, we are taught that our relationships are central to our identity, or reason for being on earth, but no-one ever tells you that the first relationship you will ever have, is with yourself.
I learned that with choosing myself, I had to enter a new level of self-responsibility. I had to get very clear on what I want (and don’t want) and learn to be assertive in keeping to that. I have a tendency to be too fluid, too ‘easy going’, too willing to flounder to the preferences of others. It takes all of my inner strength to hold out for what I truly want. To allow myself to be vulnerable in the asking of it. To give myself what I want instead of shrinking to the smaller version of it. Simple things like “Yes, I will have your best glass of red wine, thank you.”
In 2018 I fell in love. I fell in love with my life again — it was like I had to breathe spirit back into all the parts of myself that I had numbed and shrunk — in order to remain the person I once was. I fell in love with songs, with trees, with people, with buildings, with poetry, with rituals, with parts of myself that I had hidden in the shadows for fear of being found out.
2018 taught me that you can love someone and still leave them and that be the best decision you have made ever. It also taught me that sometimes it is better to let things be, and let people go. That sometimes, you have to let go of expectations for answers, or closure, or friendship, or for someone to take a moment and consider things from your perspective. Everyone is on their own journey. We must each stay in our own lane.
2018 showed me the power of friendship. The bonds and alliances that I have nurtured and formed these past 12 months sustained me and filled my heart so full that sometimes I thought I might just explode with joy and gratitude. Even in my saddest, most teary, heartbroken moments there was always a soul who showed up at exactly the right time. I want to name some names as a silent thank you, in alphabetical order: Anna, Belinda, Breanna, Camille, David, Daniel, Desha, Emelie, Jesse, Joe, Kate, Kehlee, Laura, Lily, Petra. Thank you for showing up and speaking my soul’s language. I love you.
2018 gave me a taste of luxury that expanded my vision and lit a fire for a refined version of my life. I realised that I need to be surrounded by beauty. Throughout my life, I have been fortunate enough to live in some of the most beautiful places in the world and when I experience something less I have to become less. That I am attracted to people who are ambitious, who want to take what they have and make it grow into something more, which really is the basis of all creativity. But there’s an added tilt to it. Everyone is creative and talented. Everyone has that spark of life alive in them. But not everyone stands behind themselves and blows on their own flames. I want to surround myself with the people who are willing to back themselves 100% and share their unique expression with the world.
2018 felt like a series of impulsive, reckless decisions but in hindsight is was many tiny leaps outside of my comfort zone stretching and growing me into a new version of myself who I am only just starting to learn to embody now.
As one year fades and a new one bursts into brilliant melody I simply hope to be emboldened enough to sing my own song loudly this time. I spent much of 2018 licking wounds and tending to parts of myself that had not seen light for far too long.
I intend this next year to be lived unselfconsciously, as a celebration of life and my expression of it. I see pleasure and joyful leaps — not further out but deeper into the ground — lushly filling the pages of my journal. I feel myself having more density in my relationships and how I show up for myself. I sense myself slowing down and sipping on the deliciousness of the present moment. I am making space to allow my heartfelt desires arise and to meet myself in them.
Instead of a wish list, or a word for the year, or a list of feelings, I’d like to leave you with 2 things:
- What would it take to release everything confined in the cells of your Being that you collected this year and don’t need any longer? Do that.
- If you got out of your own way and stopped believing that you know what you need, what is the universe wanting to give you? Stand down, and receive that.
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