Being a December Baby I have the privilege of reflecting upon the year’s accomplishments and set goals for both the New Year as well as my birth year. This year’s reflection is particularly meaningful for me.
27 was very eventful. I left my job, obtained my graduate degree, was published, met a wonderful man, and resigned a lease (something I have yet to do ever). It was a big year for learning how to set boundaries. It was also very challenging because for the first time in 20+ years I no longer was a student. It was a big year for identity. Overall the highlight was being unemployed for 6 months because finally I had the chance to breathe.
In years past and summers gone by it seemed like “breaks” were taken but always in the back of my mind was this ominous knowledge that I still was not done and there was still more to come. Things in my personal life came up or issues with my insecurities kept me constantly “on” and I never gave myself an opportunity to just let it go – scratch that, once I did and I remember it as one of the most glorious days ever. Eating blackberries along the path to the lake, no phone, no keys, no PURSE… just yoga pants, flip flops and the connection to creation. I will never forget the movement of the leaves on the trees by the lake.
That connection was missing for so long, but 27, man, was a year of connection. Connection to myself mostly. Connecting to parts of me that weren’t “school” or “student” or anyone else but just me. I was walking around for 27 years in my own body but connected only to the most basic and instinctual aspects of it. Eating, (barely) sleeping, school, cerebral functioning. I didn’t know what it was to be connected to my lungs or my arms or my legs or feet. Sort of like living in a house but staying in only 4 rooms: the kitchen, the den, the bathroom, and the bedroom.
The connection I felt to myself in my own skin was skeletal. I knew I had the pieces but I didn’t know what they were – I didn’t know what kept me going, why, or how.
And then I got my degree – in participation and community involvement. What the heck does that even mean? It means I was longing to BE! Just be. I was longing to be active and engaging and empowering and have authentic voice and be worthy and be valuable. I was searching for those things because I spent so much time out there looking at all the ways in which our communities were disempowered and looking at all the obstacles and road blocks that keep people from living actualized and fulfilling lives. I was looking out without recognizing that I was seeking confirmation for what I felt within. I was too busy looking at life under a microscope to live it.
My life reflected this in other places as well, but I was safe from the noxious and toxic in my books. And all the while my books were part of the issue. And I graduated; walking off the stage without an understanding of what it was that I was actually doing or where I would go or what life was to become. Now it’s gone and
I can just be .
I feel sore, I feel tired, I feel connected. I feel breath in my lungs. I feel my heart, I feel my legs bending and I feel my muscles moving. I feel self-guided.
We all get to that place eventually – that feeling of self – but not all of us have a positive relationship with that arrival. It can feel like abandon, it can feel lonely, it can feel premature and anxious. But it can also feel so amazing. It can feel unsteady, yes. But it can also feel powerful and mighty. In this way we experience life’s most humble gift: presence; and not in the sense of a meaningless amoeba, but true presence and connection with LIFE itself.
I am here. I am real. I exist. I am part of life. I am part of the story. I play a part. I matter. I make a difference. I contribute. I am valuable. I have worth. I am worthy.
And now I stand with my feet on the ground and my arms stretched wide and I AM WORTHY and all I have to do is continue being my beautiful and glorious self that is kind, considerate, empathetic, generous, curious, gregarious, motivated, and passionate. These things demonstrate worth and value. These things I demonstrate to myself every day.
So at 28, I am sitting here attempting to reflect and thus produce meaningful goals for the next year, starting to feel anxiety and pressure building up, and I had this revelation: There is no true definition of success or value or meaning. The truth is that success is success if it is successful to me. Something is meaningful if it has meaningful to me. Something is valuable if it is valuable to me. And that is my definition of a true goal: accomplishing a desired feeling, which changes my objective considerably from determining an external goal, to deciding how I want to feel at my essence.
I want to feel alive, I want to feel balance, I want to feel love, I want to feel radiance, and I want to feel joy.
These are my goals for 28, for 2014, and for life.