Like every year, 2019 came with its own unique set of triumphs and hardships. It was a complicated year for me emotionally. After going through cancer last year, it all happened so quickly that I didn’t have a chance to process the rollercoaster of emotions. I wanted to be “done” with that part of my life in 2018 but it made its way into much of this year. Life experiences and traumas have a way of doing that, don’t they?
This year, I found myself more anxious, more triggered, more depressed. Many social situations felt empty to me. Work became less meaningful and exciting. Many relationships felt senseless. For a while I tried to power through it. I put my smile on until that just became tiring.
With all of the heavy emotions I experienced, I finally let myself sit in the messiness that was consuming me. Rather than turning the page, moving forward and assuming all of these feelings would go away on their own, I asked myself: Why? Why was I feeling empty in group settings, when I used to thrive in them? Why was I feeling unfulfilled in work when I previously enjoyed it? Why did I feel disconnected from certain relationships I had with people when that wasn’t the case before? Once I sat down, meditated on these questions, journaled and reflected further, that helped me gain the clarity and light that my heart needed.
I found a path to healing and growth once I allowed myself space for reflection and exploration.
As we close out this year (and decade), I am thinking of one word that can encapsulate my journey and it is: growth. I started this decade with a linear mindset; a roadmap of what my professional and personal life would look like. As I experienced more, my approach to life evolved and I began to look at it with a more open mind and heart. Instead of the linear path I thought life once was, I created new paths for myself. Some turned out to be dead-ends but others have taken me down beautiful, new and untraveled roads that I continue to explore.
I am taking this growth mindset and theme with me into the new year. Wishing you all your own growth, health, and happiness.
Please take a moment to reflect on your own life. Is there a word that comes up for you to sum up your year? Take this word and use it as a thought starter on how you’d like to bring in the new year.