Saturday, January 25, 2014

Endings and Beginnings

It's been almost a year since I last posted. And you know what? I'm okay with that. I've never wanted my blog to feel like an obligation. Somehow that takes the fun out of it. And although I hope that the three of you who occasionally stop by enjoy the visit, really this blog is for me. So I write when I want to and I don't when I don't want to.

New topic: it's a new year. And, no, I don't go crazy and make 75 resolutions that would be impossible to keep (i.e., have defined abs in two months or make a documentary on African children with AIDS). But I have been thinking about endings and beginnings and what kind of life I want to create for myself.

I'm a sucker for well-written personal essays so I was excited when I discovered a gem of a book called "Ask Me About My Divorce," a collection of essays compiled by Candace Walsh. I have not read all of the essays, but so far, they are poignant and I find that I can relate (even as a never-married 31-year-old). Several of the women discussed how their divorces, though painful and often unwanted, led them to a sort of rebirth and a newfound freedom, a discovery of themselves and a newfound commitment to really engage with life. Endings and beginnings.

Throughout the past couple of years, I have experienced my own endings and beginnings. They are internal rather than external but they are real all the same. Some have been quite painful. I've experienced the death of long-held beliefs, hopes and expectations and the grief that comes with such loss. But I've also experienced a rebirth. An awakening. New beliefs are replacing the old ones and I feel the joy of liberation, even as I experience fear and uncertainty.

"That moment when it feels like you've lost everything can be the moment you realize you can create anything." (Jon Hastings, original post here).

Perhaps the most important thing I've learned (and felt) is that it is up to me to create the life I want. And what do I want? Pretty much the same things most of us want. Meaningful relationships with family and friends and meaningful work. New experiences. Love. A way to connect with myself and others. Possibilities. Choices. Authenticity. A life full of endings and beginnings and full engagement with them both.

No more locked doors. No more dead ends. No more suffering because "there is no other way" and "this is what's best for you." No more "wait and hope."

"Here was a path, an opening." (Nicole Hardy)

This year I look forward to a self-directed life. A year that I hope brings much-needed healing to wounds that have festered too long. A year full of possibilities and openings. A year of now.

Happy 2014.