I love new beginnings. At the turn of each New Year I sit down to think over the current year and plan for the upcoming one. Tomorrow I’ll take a blanket and a notebook to the beach and spend a few hours reflecting and aligning for 2015.
But I’ve found that I don’t need the curved edges of a dwindling year to launch those new beginnings for me anymore. I don’t need a fresh start to focus on the things I’ve been putting off or ignoring. Life is a lot more fluid for me than it used to be. Now, when a New Year rolls around I think, another year and we’re still at it. I just want what I’m working on to grow. It’s a blessing.
2014 was a hard year for me. Our job challenged me in ways I didn’t expect. The manic pace caused me to lose track of what mattered. I was unhappy and I didn’t know how to overcome my unhappiness. Then our dog Bear died. I was also dealing with a lot of family stress. A good portion of the year felt confusing and dark. It was all leading to this? I wondered.
But I guess the thing about struggles is if you pay attention they’ll illuminate things. Hard times reveal certain truths that good times can’t. The point is to learn something. And even though I didn’t really feel like learning something, even though I would have preferred a free-flowing, flowery kind of year, that’s not what I got.
The good news of it all is that I did learn something. When Brian and I came back to the U.S. in January to start our new job we were at a crossroads. We knew we didn’t want to keep traveling forever, at least not at a steady pace, but we didn’t want to settle back down into traditional 9-5 lives again if we didn’t have to. The job seemed like a good balance. Maybe it would be the answer?
But over time it became clear that our new job wasn’t the answer. We could have taken the job again or we could have stayed in the states and settled down somewhere. It would have been easier, to have a steady paycheck and a bit of traditional stability. But the year showed us that that’s not what we wanted. We just didn’t feel done yet. It felt like there was still more out there in the world for us.
I’m so happy living in Mexico that in the two months we’ve been here I’ve almost forgotten that 2014 was such a challenge. Sure, the future is wildly unknown and that feels daunting sometimes, but for the moment I’m at peace. I feel like myself again. I’m working on things that excite and inspire me. I feel connected, not just to myself but to everything else too.
I think that 2015 will be a year that reveals a lot for Brian and me. We talk more and more about establishing a home base. We’ve got a list of projects we want to work on and an even longer list of places we want to see. We want stakes in both worlds. And I think (I hope) that 2015 might be the year that shows us how to make that happen.
Happy New Year everyone. I hope 2015 holds health, happiness and light for you.
My view of the dwindling days of 2014