I'm just not even sure where to begin. Where's the script for this one, Kell?
Almost one year ago today, on January 1st 2010 at 10:30am, I got in a fully packed Hannah Honda and drove across country with Big Toe from Los Angeles to Chicago. That sense of fearlessness and adventure was the highlight of my year and that same spirit, I know, will continue to help me create a lifetime of highlights and adventures I can't even begin to imagine. I've heard '2010 can suck it!' from so many people and while it's by far been the most emotional, most difficult of my life, there were also plenty of really beautiful moments and simple everyday memories that make me smile. It certainly has been the greatest adventure I've ever been on.
Having just re-labeled all of my blogs so recipes would be easier for people to find, I've had the opportunity to go back and really reflect on the past couple of years through those blogs. Knowing what was going on behind the scenes, what was going on in my heart, knowing 'what really happened during that visit'... Knowing how much joy and true girlish happiness I had experienced, and much later how much confusion and pain... I had forgotten so much.
While horribly bittersweet, as only the holidays can be, I was able to look back in hindsight with some clarity and love. I can barely recognize the girl who set off on her trip last year let alone the girl from two or three years ago. I LIVED this year. I risked, I bled, I loved. I gave everything I had. I gave up more than anyone should ever have to. I gave until there was literally nothing left but a new address. And in that nothingness, I found my myself again. I found a renewed spirit.
There were moments in these memories & backstories I wanted to stand up and applaud the adventurous girl who loved her heart out and did the best she could. And there were moments I wanted to lock away the monster, cloaked in desperation and despair, because the honest truths about her were too much to bare.
Last year New Year's was so much easier. Helloooo... A very real end in L.A. Roll the credits... And the truest of true beginnings in Chicago. This year, as the clock winds down, there have been no loose-end life experiences to tie up, no beautiful little surprise road trip packages to open. I still feel very much 'in it.' This transformation is still progressing onward and upward but definitely in its own sweet time.
What IS a recognizeable gift and fresh start to the New Year is the renewed hope and possibility I feel about the future. I'm ready. You can lose yourself pining for the past and lose your life waiting for the future. I choose instead to stay in the here and now, choosing joy and contentment in every momentary opportunity. I'm not sure what 2011 will hold in the 'life experiences' department. But I know if I continue to live in a fearless manner and continue to be really aware of who I am- my thoughts, my patterns, my behaviors, I will grow leaps and bounds in love, not to mention every other area of my life.
I can't look back in regret. I'm too freaking thankful for the good times. There was plenty of fun and laughter and wonderful memories in 2010- even the simple goofy moments shared that you take for granted. And I can't look back in sadness because of what this year is creating in me. I am sooo grateful for the opportunity to learn these lessons and for the choices that presented themselves, whether I chose wisely or poorly, that caused me to grow.
So my heart goes out in love... my glass is raised in joyful expectation. Here's to living fearlessly and to being the best versions of ourselves that we can be. Here's to loving others and ourselves without judgement, without pretense, forgiving those who were trying equally as hard to love and to do the right thing. Here's to letting go of our past hurts, habits and experiences, and forgiving ourselves for the harms that we've inflicted that have made us, or those around us, less than the dynamic individuals that God intended us to be. And here's to a New Year... where we get the opportunity and the choice to love ourselves, the shadows of our past, the angels of our future and the world around us with reckless abandon.
"A true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it."
— Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
And I do with all my heart.
Happy New Year, you crazy blog readers, you... Thanks for always letting me pour my heart out. And take naughty pictures of food.
Love & Magic Pennies,