As one year draws to a close and a new one begins, my thoughts always turn to what is coming. As a result of writing in this blog every day, I have been reflecting on my life in a new way over the past year, and I have found that the exercise of thinking more about what I do and why I do it has been profoundly helpful. On this last day of 2010, I encourage you to consider what worked well over the past year, and what could be improved as you move forward into 2011.
If I could order up the next season of my life, I would request one that is peaceful and calm, where we are all healthy and kind, discovering more love and joy than we've ever possessed before. I would ask for continued freedom to speak what is in my heart, mind and soul, and the courage to be who I am even under duress.
As I've discovered clearly over the past six months, I am not in charge of what happens to me, but how I respond is fully under my control. This knowledge has freed me from my victim personality, where I felt at the mercy of other people's responses, and has put me back in the driver's seat of my own life. As I look forward to what is coming next, I am excited to put this new perspective into practice and make it into a habit of positivity instead of pessimism.
I have dreamed for years about being who I really am, and not feeling afraid to be the same person in every circumstance and situation I'm in. This year that dream came true, and like a flower opening slowly to the sun and rain, I have turned into who I was meant to be, and I'm not changing her to make anyone else more comfortable. I want to give this freedom to my kids in 2011, and be more aware of encouraging them to be fully themselves in all settings, so they don't create personalities to suit other people. I want them to know that who they are is always enough.
I learned to be kinder and more accepting over the last year, and I hope to continue that journey. I want to leave the judgements and criticisms behind, and embrace love and grace. I have seen how beautiful mercy can be when I have failed, and I want to live with mercy on a daily basis instead of condemnation. I am not perfect, and that is as it should be, and no one else is perfect either. Anyone who attempts perfection will certainly fail, and if I want grace extended to me, I must do the same for everyone in my life.
This blog experiment began as a six week project to get me writing on a daily basis, and somehow over the six weeks in January and February I began to come alive in an entirely new way. As more readers began to follow the blog and read my posts on a daily basis, my confidence in myself started to grow, and I felt able to take more risks, both personally and in my writing. Your feedback and encouragement to me as readers has transformed both who I am and how I communicate. My love for writing has grown, and my confidence in equal measure, and as a result I have risked more of myself in order to go for my dream as a professional writer.
I am so unbelievably grateful for 2010. I changed and grew into a person I hardly recognize, but I'm proud to be who I am, and to go forward from here with these new roots digging deeper into the soil and grounding me for my future. Thank you for reading and commenting and giving so much back to me. I can't wait to turn the page on the calendar tomorrow and see what the challenges and pain of this year are going to bring to what I experience in 2011.