As I reflect back on 2014, the stand outs for me are: grief, loss, change, growth, creativity, love.
This year has stolen loved ones from me.
Death permanently took a piece of my heart, and my world was completely shattered beyond recognition. Everything that I thought I knew turned out to be wrong. My well defined life path came to a blinding dead-end. Comfort was a memory that tormented me in the dead of night; a haven I could never quite reach. I longed for my soul to be at peace, but a tempest of pain, longing and despair assailed me constantly over the months that followed.
I lost loved ones in other ways too. Friends that could not cope with my sadness were absent. My usual sunshine dimmed for a time and there are those that sought my light and warmth elsewhere. I don’t blame them for that. Sitting with someone else’s pain is not easy. The people you don’t expect can be the ones to hold you steady in the storm. Strangers become soulmates. I found a few of those blessings too.
I threw myself into my yoga practise, and running, to take back my freedom. To hold the power over my own physical being and the way that I could push myself beyond what my weak mind thought it was capable of. I loved the sound of the ocean cheering me on and I would spend hours watching the tide roll in. It gave me time to think, to cry, to process, and sometimes to forget it all. I’m physically the strongest and fittest I have ever been, and for this I am thankful.
Some days I didn’t know if I would make it through the darkness, and that was more terrifying then I ever realised was possible. I wanted to die, to not feel the misery anymore. Grief is a selfish emotion. I’m glad I did not give into the easy path of oblivion for the world is bright and beautiful, and I have much left to see. I will see all that I can, I will promise you that.
I turned to writing, letting my hurt spill onto the paper like hot crimson blood. I was vulnerable; I let my fear and insecurity and sadness flow out into the world and showed people my darkest truths. They responded, friends and strangers alike. I connected. I discovered that others were hurting, or growing and that my words had helped them, even if in some tiny way. Hope is a powerful magic.
Realising how short life was, I took steps towards my dream of writing for a living and I joined a novel writing class. I discovered a whole class of like-minded friends to share my love of the written word. I began work on my first novel, and I will finish my first draft in 2015. When you want something so badly, the universe conspires to make it happen for you. I am very lucky that my company subsequently decided to create a role for me that will allow me to explore my love of writing further in my day job. I never would have dreamed that such an opportunity could exist for me there. I am humbled beyond words.
I know now that I had to reach the lowest depths of my pain and suffering, to break myself open, in order to let the light of change flood in through the cracks. It takes being destroyed to re-build yourself, rising like a Phoenix from the ashes of destruction. It’s hard to appreciate that lesson as the fire burns you. It’s only afterwards that you realise that your scars are beautiful, for they tell a story about you.
So, thank you 2014 for hurting me so very badly. For waking me up to myself. For making me re-assess my paths.
Thank you for showing me who is important, who loves me at my worst. Thank you for the opportunities to meet new friends, new teachers and to let go of the things that do not serve me anymore.
I will not think of you fondly, but I will appreciate the opportunities you have given me.
Who knows what adventures 2015 will bring? Hopefully more laughter than tears, more love than grief, and a mindful life, lived to the fullest. Here’s hoping.
Happy new year to you all.