As I looked at my reflection this morning in the light coming through the window, I really saw myself– I saw all the freckles, the tiny lines, the variations in skin tone, the scar from where I bit my lip when I was 8. I saw a little more fatigue in my eyes. I saw the effects of the past year staring back at me. I was scrubbed clean, no makeup, and perfectly imperfect, and I couldn’t help but think, “Another year has passed…I’m going to be 33 next week…”
The past twelve months have been a blur in a lot of ways…but one thing is certain- I grew this year. It was growth that took place through change- I don’t know if I’ve ever before experienced so much flux in my life. Relationships changed, storms came, friends left, old friends came back…I felt like a little raft getting tossed back and forth in the waves. Just when I thought I knew which direction to go, I was jolted off course and set on a new path. Last summer changed me. It opened my heart in ways it has never been opened before- pried it open with both fists, insistently. While I witnessed the ugliness of human nature, the obsession, the deceit, the pain others can inflict without remorse, I also learned some poignant things about myself. I discovered the ramifications of trusting someone before trust is earned. I learned how difficult it can be to watch out for yourself when no one else possibly can do it for you- the hardest lessons to learn are the ones we have to realize on our own, in our own time, only when we are ready. Through the chaos of last Summer and Fall, I came out of it shaken but stronger. The lessons from 2010 are abundant.
I learned how to, once and for all, say “enough is enough.”
I learned what a “good” person looks like. Even if it’s hard not to second guess my instincts all the time.
I learned that addiction is ugly and violent.
I learned that we are all broken.
I also learned that we are all precious.
I learned to not take my dearest friends for granted.
I learned that even the people we trust the most to make the right decision sometimes make the wrong one.
I learned that there are some people out there who only look out for themselves.
I learned how to forgive.
I learned that some of the hurt stays and some of it goes.
I learned that thankfully, there are again moments when everything feels perfect.
I learned that the future of my business is entirely up to me.
I learned that vulnerability is scary. But worth it.
I learned to take my time and pay attention to what my heart tells me.
I learned how beautiful someone can become when you see their soul clearly.
I learned that taking risks doesn’t always pay off but it always teaches you something you needed to know.
I learned that I’ll never get answers to some of my questions. And I have to let those things go.
I learned that when you don’t know what else to do…just breathe.