Through the quiet moments brought on by nationwide shutdowns, I began to notice that adventure is just as much in your own space as it is “out there”. That there’s beauty within the nooks and crannies of our ordinary. We become accustomed to overlooking the present because the past and the future are so fluid. Goodness knows fluidity intimidates us humans. Fluidity is paired with fragility and God forbid any part of us appears breakable.
Sometimes, breaking is necessary if we ever want to grow. The molds we build up around ourselves in a desperate attempt to allude discomfort end up hurting us in the end. We are not meant to be trapped by clichés, routines, or expectations. That’s just our culture hiding its face against growth and vulnerability.
This year has bluntly and harshly illustrated how uncomfortable our fellow humans are made by growth and all that comes with it. To help grapple with the concept of having to take an honest look at ourselves, I’ve witnessed many dive down rabbit holes in frantic attempts to hide from our truth. These rabbit holes can take many shapes that have included substance abuse, risky behaviors, small mole hills that quickly grew into unhelpful mountains, and hell-bent opinions that drove wrenches into relationships.
Take your experiences from 2020 and sit with them genuinely. Fight the urge to break eye contact, no matter how intimidating these experiences may have been. Honor the beautifully courageous person you fought hard to be as you stumbled through the array of obstacles life hurdled toward you. Reframe the self-talk you beat yourself down with when you broke from the pressure, the deliriously unreachable expectations, and the grief of having little control. For, this breaking was viciously important. It was important because you broke from the mold that no longer serves you as we go along life post 2020. The mold that was created by other’s quick judgements; and our anguished attempts in preventing them.
Because here’s the thing.
We cannot outrun the judgements of others. They swirl all around us, just as pollen floats in the wind. Part of being human is creating quick assumptions about the world around us. It’s as natural as the changing of seasons.
Just because someone has an opinion that is different than mine does not negate me from my truth.
So, Happy New Year’s my friends.
Please sit with your experiences honestly and show your past self some empathy. You made it through an incredibly heartbreaking and exhausting year. This is a very admirable accomplishment! Next, create a mental note of your takeaways and the growth you inspire to embrace moving forward. For that is the most honorable and resilient thing a person can do.