Soon, the darkest day will come, and as always, it will go. The winter solstice is fast approaching, and along with it comes all the hustle, bustle, and chaos that the holiday season has now become. I am all-too-often wrapped up in the mayhem of my job, and the needs of others this time of year, and can sometimes forget to take a moment and do my own reflections, and celebrate this time of year for myself.
This is pretty much how this holiday season has gone too. I’ve been very busy at work, very busy at just getting by, without enough time to really breathe or reflect.
I will say this: 2012 has been amazing. 2012 has been a year that I will remember as my Transformative Year.
I began this year as I have started too many of my years – on the run, constantly chasing the next moment, the next opportunity to make a connection, and the next chance at finding a bit of happiness. I thought then, as I have for too long, that the things I wanted were just out of reach, and it was up to me to keep moving, keep running after them. I never stopped to look at myself, intimately and honestly, and ask myself what it was about me that kept me running for so long and at a break-neck speed.
My life was nothing but a state of constant motion.
To some degree, it still is, but now there is a caveat. I am driving this change, this forward momentum. I am no longer bouncing around on the whim of Fate alone. I have exerted some of my own Will into the mix.
It was a moment on a mountain last year, after some honest words from a really good friend here in Denver sunk in. His words, something to the effect of treating myself with a bit more kindness and respect, along with the brisk climb and buzz one gets from going up in vertical feet at this altitude, set into motion a series of choices for me to make. I could choose to continue on the path of crazy that I was on, and had grown used to. I could continue to beat myself up for my faults, and constantly seek redemption for my faults through the kindness of others. Alternatively, I could turn all the energy I put out into the world on myself. I could take some of my optimism and belief in others onto myself. I could be a little self-focused, and take myself and my life a bit more seriously, and with a real sense of self-respect. As I came down off that mountain, and made my way back to my apartment, I opted for the second choice. It has made a real difference in my life.
I stopped chasing guys. I stopped running wild. I stopped hurting myself with a poor diet and sleep schedule. I got a handle on my finances. I stopped and took a really hard look at how I’ve been treating myself. I laced up my sneakers and went for a run. And then another. And another still. I made plans. I started to use the word “no.” I moved in with one of my oldest and best friends. I turned my attention to the man who truly piqued my interest, and who paid attention to exactly what it was I was saying and doing. I turned thirty-five in a place I never thought I’d ever get to (Seattle). I realized that I have some amazing connections here in Denver who want to see me succeed and be treated as I should be. I joined a gym. I started to see the connection between my diet and my overall health. I’ve taken my physical body seriously, and have begun to treat it with more respect and dignity, just as I have done for my mental and spiritual sides.
This is only the beginning of a new life for me, and I know this. The path I’m on now will constantly change, and I will need to be adept at facing new things and new obstacles as I go. Sure, this all sounds lovely and wonderful and perhaps a bit schmaltzy. The fact is, though, for me, it’s all real. It’s not just a catchy trend. It’s my damned life. And I own every square inch of it. I own all of my gifts, as well as my short-comings. I own all of the good choices I’ve ever made, along with the ones that weren’t so good. I’ve started to accept my role in the events of my life. I’ve started to integrate rather than simply turn and run and deny they ever happened. Call it growing up. Call it putting my big-boy pants on. Call it being blunt and honest with myself. The fact remains, I’ve never felt more human, more whole, and more capable in my entire life.
Being willing to accept myself for who I am, what I am, how I look, where I came from, where I want to be, what makes me happy, and what really upsets me – these are the current challenges of my life, and will always be. I look forward to facing them all down.