Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Year of Me

I needed a plan - pure and simple.
Barely hanging on ...

As the weather turned cold I was starting to feel a sort of desperation about life in general again. Holidays were approaching, jobs were not materializing, a few important relationships rested on shaky ground and my mighty demons seemed poised for a resurgence. I refused to live in the sinking world I had for so long. I wasn't going to be drug back into that hole this time without a fight. So I started to devise a strategy - one that took me from where I was, where I wanted to end up and accounted for a lot of variables in between. So as a plan began to form for what I wanted to accomplish in the next year I knew that I only needed to ask and those that were important to me would help me along the path. I had such incredible people in my life, they showed me that time and again, and yet I never asked them for guidance. Help was something I gave, but didn't request. But, the more and more I contemplated what to do next, the more I knew that I needed to face some of the fears I had about leaning on people and asking for assistance.

A new year always seems like a perfect time for renewal, for a chance at a clean slate, for leaving the past behind, for looking forward. The year before I'd made an attempt at the resolution game. I'd even exchanged my short, but lofty list with a few people thinking it would inspire me to stick to the game - and yet I hadn't. So I searched back in my email and found my simple list of five things

  1. Get Healthy;
  2.  Find a job I love;
  3. Find my center (something that makes me happy and fulfilled and also leads to nothing but relaxation);
  4. Practice spontaneity (stop over-analyzing everything, every time);
  5. Don't neglect relationships.

That day I looked back on that list for the first time in many months. I was surprised by how in some strange ways I'd accomplished them, but not in the way or path that I would have imagined. The cliche "what a difference a year makes" was apropos. But, I still didn't know what I was going to do with that information. I started thinking about how I wanted my next year to look - if my resolutions were going to magically come true (even in unexpected or not always welcome ways), then I needed to plan out this year's list very carefully. And one of the items that I knew needed to be on the list was clear - be honest - but how to accomplish that was not as clear.  I made my first small attempt by acknowledging, even before the new year, how difficult my year had been and how much I'd learned that there were some incredible people in it that I didn't recognize enough. So I wrote my own version of a holiday letter. I acknowledged the resolutions and how I arrived at them and then I did what I could with words to let people know their importance:

For every one of you that realized, recognized and remedied my year - I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I wish more than anything that I could give you all a gift that would show you how much you all mean to me. A gift from my heart and soul, because those of you receiving this are truly some of the best, most remarkable people on earth. You all mean the world to me - maybe more than you even know. My Christmas gift to you all this year though has to be a simple one of words:
This holiday my gift to you is a wish for peace, love, happiness and surprises of the best kind in the year to come. May you accomplish your list and find people with which to share in the glory of such accomplishments. I love each and every one of you for the distinct and important role in which you play in my life.
-With all the love and thanks in my heart -me
It was a small start on the path to honesty. I knew I had a lot farther to go, but it felt good to make a move in the right direction.

 With one week until the new year I devised my job hunting plan, I read and researched the best way to find solid, full-time employment in the tough job market of today, I contacted the few networking contacts that I had and I wrote a second letter that this time contained more honesty and my plans for the year:
Happy New Year to the Most Incredible People in the World that every day make my life a little brighter, "funner," more tolerable, enviable and very much worth living.

As you flip the calendar from 2010 to 2011 I have a few simple, but important wishes for you all:
In 2011 may you experience all that you hope for, long for, wish for and want.
May you always look in your mirror and see an incredible person that you want to be.
May others look at you and delight in the fabulous person that they see.
May you learn to love yourself faults and all.
May you find or continue to delight in a person that looks beyond those faults and loves you all their heart anyway.
May you see the beauty of the world and humanity all around you.
May you be blind to the darkness and never experience inhumanity in the world.
And most of all, I hope that you will always be an important person in my life.

Much love & happiness to you for the coming year. - me

P.S. I've declared 2011 my year & I hope you'll come along for the ride as I rock it!

And so as I pressed send on my computer I was petrified to share with everyone that it was the year of me. It was a lofty goal to declare. What if I didn't live up to the mission? What if it didn't turn out to be my year? What if I didn't "rock it." But in the end I realized that it was also liberating to share my thoughts, it was good to have people who would remind me in the days to come that it was my year and most of all it was a joy to know that there were people that really would be along for the ride.

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