Good Evening, and welcome to day 29 of my self comittment to write each day for 15 minutes.
I am curled up in a cabin near a lake outside of Asheville, NC. I have never been to this place before, I have never driven the roads I drove today and I have never breathed this particular air. I am listening to the sounds of the mountains while my dog lays on the foot of the bed.
It is New Years Eve. In another life I have danced in a fancy dress in a grand ball room in New York City on this night. This year I chose quiet alone time; time for reflection, discarding and intentionality. I feel a little scared to be alone in the wilderness like this with just my dog but I am leaning on that fear as an analogy for life and doing my best to let all the scary movies I’ve seen in my lifetime not influence my emotions :). I know dogs are supposed to protect you but mine seems more scared than me at this point so who is helping who?
It has been a giant year. The person who started 2018 no longer really exists inside of me. I started this year with the intention to leave her behind; her particular position in life was holding us back, she was stuck in a mindset and emotionality that I knew we couldn’t operate from if we wanted to do hard things. She was desperate for companionship, seeking validation, hopeful for a savior. She believed that to do this life well, we needed someone to come for us, to show us the way and to help us be less afraid.
With each day of 2018, each encounter, each moment, I worked to show her that her way was not the only way. I worked to expand her perspective, to test her assumptions, I forced her to ask more questions and be discerning about the information coming back to her. I forced her to pull back the curtain and examine herself and those around her, and when someone wasn’t willing to pull back the curtain on themselves and dive deep—to really show up—we had to let them be—even when it broke her to do so.
And oh it broke her. She spent sunny days in bed wondering what it was all for and rainy days wishing for more. She was alone for most of the year, contemplating the purpose of all of her endeavors and relationships and beliefs. And on days when she couldn’t muster what she needed to fully participate in life someone else started showing up to help. This new version of her, a more alive version, a more powerful version; a woman who would stand in her convictions, laugh with her whole body and completely raise the bar for everyone around her. This new woman was demanding and critical and she looked at the older, weaker version and she asked, “Is this really how we want to live our life?”.
And one evening she sat down for a meditation and she was asked to let go. And she surrendered.
I am by far one of the luckiest people in the world. I was given a gift because of the things that I saw at such a young age. I think when the first part of your life is full of chaos and loss you can’t help but know in your bones that there is more to life. I knew that couldn’t be all that was out there, that watching someone die of cancer was not the only part of my story. And those instincts have served me.
But if you want to be the true author of your story you must face your demons from the past. You must sit with them and let them say their peace. You must let love win—in all aspects—from the people who have hurt you to the people who with good intention let you down. You must face all of it with an openness and a grace and then you must accept it all for what it was and is and let it go.
Many things held the power before; old relationships, family dynamics, cancer, death, depression, heartache, personal loss. It all painted the world that I saw and I had to fight to get the power back—I fought every single day and when I finally won—when I finally stepped into the new me, for days and weeks I grieved the old me. I felt her leaving, I felt the things that came with her belief system and I saw how by choosing to let her go—all of those things would go too. It was devastating, yet I survived.
My year was full. When I say it was giant I mean that it was giant. While all of this shedding and letting go was going on I was also making memories and adding things to my life. I was reminded of laughter by the belly laugh of a sweet two-year old. I was inspired to work harder by the determination of a classroom full of hopeful teenagers. I learned that love can mean someone loving you even in the darkness—even when you expect them not to-even when you think you don’t deserve it. I learned of and was accepted into a new kind of family; one without loss and heartache and it showed me that it is possible.
I learned patience by watching my sister carry a little mini person for nine months and mother her with grace. I learned of partnership by watching her husband step in and take care without missing a single beat. I saw gravity tested with record breaking loops around a race track and I was supported by a group of people who had no reason to support me at all. I drank Champagne on Sundays with a dear friend and learned what it is like when you let your friends truly see you, even when you are scared. I met the love of my life, my puppy and my best friend. I traveled to eight states that I can remember and twelve different cities. I gave my all and leaped with my heart, sailed the southern waters and climbed the snowy mountains. I safely flew on planes and safely landed on runways. I was moved by music, brought to my knees by the theatre and driven to laughter by the television.
I was mentored and championed by kind and generous people. I appeared on TV and on the radio and on podcasts. I gathered women together for connection and coached magical humans into realizing their magic.
I am now officially the author of my life. I know there is more to come, I know the fun is just beginning, I know that around the corner is something worth tasting and smelling and experiencing.
So I say thank you and goodbye to 2018. I welcome what is to come; the good and the bad, the scary and the inspiring, the laughter and the tears. Hopefully more laughter and less tears.
And to everyone who showed up for me this year—in any way shape or form, thank you. I owe you my life. We never know how the very tiny and seemingly insignificant things we do actually dramatically impact those around us. To more tiny and impactful moments in 2019.