I told myself that I wouldn’t do an end-of-year review, if only because this blog is aimed at personal development and, as such, reflection kind of happens on a daily basis that way. But last night, for the first time in a long while, as I settled in with a book, with my dog snoring away at the foot of my bed and my cat purring loudly somewhere else nearby, I realized that I was really and truly complacent.
The feeling tends to fade as new stressors take their place and frustration once again builds, but, overall, I’m proud of where my life has led me. And when I think about what this past year has meant to me, what it’s done for me, I realized that I really have come a long, long way from where I was.
To say the very least, it has been a whirlwind. At times, it felt as if I had hit the pause button on my life. At other times, it seemed as if I’ve fast-forwarded through lessons and experiences in an attempt to play catch up. But here, in this moment, as I bid farewell to a tumultuous and inspiring year, as I look back at where I was and see everything I’ve done, it feels perfect, it feels right.
This year proved to be the greatest challenge, and learning experience, of my life thus far. Through various employment opportunities, I’ve garnered professional experience, building upon my strengths and working through my weaknesses. Through unexpected life changes, I’ve learned about myself, letting these lessons provide the change and growth I’ve sought in becoming the person I’ve always wanted. And through this blog, I’ve been able to share it all while connecting with an intelligent, savvy, and inspirational community, building a support system for which I will always be grateful.
This year has been filled with unease, uncertainty, and more than a little heartache. But it’s also been filled with excitement, anticipation, and opportunity.
And that is what makes all the former worthwhile. It’s why I can look back on all of the negative and have no regrets.
I’ve always believed that life is likened to a game of connect the dots: everything is connected in one way or another, building upon itself to form a complete picture. Everything you do, every action you take, every connection you make, has meaning. Often, it’s only in hindsight that you can see how these things connect, can you see the lessons learned. It’s true you can’t see how far you’ve come until you reflect on where you’ve been. For me, at least, that’s the key to personal development, to moving forward, to finding your own success.
I’ve learned that fear is my greatest adversary; I’ve learned that letting go doesn’t mean losing; I’ve learned that saying goodbye doesn’t have to mean forever. I’ve learned that only I have the power to hold myself back.
I’ve realized that I have all of the strength and courage I’ll ever need inside of me, sometimes forgotten, but always there.
I’ve reunited with a passion, rediscovered a dream.
I’ve remembered how to fly.
So, as I celebrate the holidays and bid farewell to 2008, as I look forward to the exciting changes that 2009 has in store, some planned, some unforeseen, I know that there will be more changes, more heartache, more challenges. But I also know that now I have the ability to weather those changes, heal from that heartache, and learn from those challenges.
If 2008 was meant to get me ready for what’s to come, then what’s to come is something incredible, something magical, something worthwhile.
I’ll leave you with a Note from the Universe that keeps me inspired:
Sometimes, when you’re feeling your lowest, the real you is summoned.
And you understand, maybe for the first time ever, how grand you are, because you discover that vulnerable doesn’t mean powerless, scared doesn’t mean lacking in beauty, and uncertainty doesn’t mean that you’re lost.
These realizations alone will set you on a journey that will take you far beyond what you used to think of as extraordinary.
There is always a bright side.
Don’t disguise your tears, don’t hide your sadness, don’t be afraid to find out who you really are. Because in those fleeting moments you’ll summon such beauty and strength that, in no time at all, you’ll fully grasp exactly why you’re so gossiped about here in the unseen.
Thoughts become things. I choose the good ones…Do you?