I’ve been in quiet introspect most of the week thinking about the ending of yet another year and the beginning of a new one. I know- so many of us do that on the eve of the new calendar year, and I do that too, but then it’s more of a reflection of where the year took me- and the goals I’d like to make for the coming year. On the eve of my 46th birthday, my reflections are a little different.
I see myself as the perpetual student- always learning and growing. So as another year of being me comes to a close, I can’t help but pause and think about the past year and the gifts it has given me.
The biggest gifts this past year and not in any particular order are somewhat the obvious- good health, my family (Marcel obviously falls under family) and true friends. I am grateful beyond words.
Beyond these obvious gifts lie moments of joy- side aching laughter- and pain. Yes, you read that correctly, pain. I’m not going to focus a lot on the painful aspects of the past year, other than to say that some of my biggest life lessons have came through the pain.
Sometimes- things happen. We all tend to want to place blame- but if we can see beyond the shattered hearts and sprinkling of lies, there is great lessons to be found.
My first lesson was- “This isn’t about me.” When I didn’t get that on the first lesson- the second lesson followed, which was an echo to the first- “This isn’t about me.” … and so the story goes. I think for a while trying to make sense of nonsense had me thinking that somehow someone else’s stuff was in relation to something I had done. I’ve learned that it isn’t- and truth is, it usually isn’t, regardless of how it may look at first glance.
Now granted- I’m far from perfect and I make more than my share of mistakes- and when I do- I am woman enough to admit that.
I learned in a big way about respecting boundaries of others. When you don’t- it says a lot about you. It doesn’t mean people aren’t there for you when you need them- it simply means they can’t always do what you need, because ultimately we have to take care of ourselves first- We can’t expect to be there for others with an empty tank. It’s so important to respect others- even if we don’t understand, and don’t take it personally- it really isn’t about you.
One of my other lessons was that when my integrity is put to the test- that I didn’t blow it. Granted, I wanted to during a few really testing moments- but I did not. I didn’t let someone else’s stuff cause me to go outside of who I am. *See Lessons numbers 1 and 2- It wasn’t about me.*
Earlier in the year- I’d heard a sermon by Bishop T.D. Jakes- and he talked about letting people go when they walk away. I don’t know about you- but that’s a hard one for me, but it’s something I learned- when people walk away- either physically or mentally- let them go. Trust me, there is a reason for it, and sometimes it’s far beyond the scope of what our minds and eyes can comprehend. Don’t be angry- (or at least try not to be), but instead, wish them well and let them go.
That leads me to another lesson- People don’t always come into our lives for a lifetime. I know- I know- when I have a friendship or any type of relationship with someone- I go into it with my eyes and mind wide open. I usually don’t go into things looking at them as temporary or fleeting relationships- and I do take them seriously. So it’s hard when you have an idea that someone is in your life for a lifetime- and your paths become so different that the road converges in the woods and you have to let go and move on. It’s not easy- but it’s necessary for our own growth. To quote Bishop Jakes again- he mentioned in another sermon that as we grow- if the people we surround ourselves with doesn’t grow along with us (and they don’t always) then we have to let go and move on. Because if they aren’t growing with us- that only means that they can hold us back and keep us from growing. He is right. Another lesson- don’t let anyone dull my sparkle and keep me from growing.
Which leads to yet another lesson from this past year- When we have to move on and let go- it is painful. Call it growing pains- if you will. Those are real emotions and not to be swept under the carpet or diminished- instead as Iylana Vanzant so eloquently puts- we have to “feel”, “deal” and then ultimately “heal”. You can’t skip a step, because it will come back to bite you in the bootay.
In letting go I’ve learned that new doors open, and this year many new doors and opportunities have opened. My business is doing well- and I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful for the learning experiences and the continued vision that I have, with changes and implementations that I believe will continue to allow me to grow and prosper.
I’ve also opened the doors to new friendships- and some friendships that have become deeper and richer. I can’t begin to express the joy that I’ve felt because of these relationships. I am blessed beyond measure.
Today- I had an early happy birthday email from a dear friend. She’s on vacation and will return home at the end of the month- where we’ll be getting together soon after her return. She said she had a feeling that this upcoming year was going to be one of my best ever- and ironically, I’ve had that same feeling. The fact that she thought of me while she has been jetting from place to place warmed my heart- and another true example of friendship in the purest form.
As the last day of my 45th closes and taps on the heels of 46- I am joyous. I am grateful. I am full of love and happiness. Mostly- I am blessed. The new day will dawn and the door is wide open. Opportunities lie at my feet just waiting to be grasped. The sky is the limit- and I feel like soaring.
46- I welcome you, and for those of you who are traveling this journey with me- I’m grateful.