I mean . . . I just . . . My life. This past year.
How far I’ve come. How much I’ve grown. How much still lies ahead.
None of this happened overnight—or just in the last 12 months. I’ve been charting my course forward and upward long before then. Before the split. Observing. Experiencing. Feeling. Processing. On the surface, all of that looks passive. But so much has been going on inside. So much. I did my damndest to hide my struggles for far too long. Hiding was the hardest part.
“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.”
When I felt like my words were failing me a few years ago, it was this quote that helped turn me around. The songbird necklace that rests on my collarbone reminds me of this every day. My words need not be right—or even in response to anything; but what’s inside is, indeed, worthy of being shared.
This past year has been all about sharing. Twenty-eight heartfelt blog posts. A hundred conversations with dear friends and kind acquaintances. A face no longer hesitant to showing a range of emotion. This lack of resistance in my head and my heart is all the proof I need to realize that I’m doing something right.
“The birds they sang
at the break of day
I heard them say
Don’t dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be . . .
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in ”
—Anthem, Leonard Cohen
I stopped aiming for perfection and started embracing uncertainty after my life cracked open last year. I finally got out of my own way and let in a whoosh of light. Airing out my “broken-ness” was way out of my comfort zone, but I knew, somehow, that this willingness to expose my vulnerability also held the key to my transformation. The opportunity to share my stumbles has made me feel more alive, more connected, more a part of something than ever before.
I’m so grateful for it all.
My life. This past year. I’ve zig-zagged all over the country, explored a new continent, and summited mountains. I learned a little more about heartbreak and a lot more about love. I debunked old beliefs. I found support. I’ve been transfixed by live music. I’ve sailed away on beautiful boats. I twirled around a museum in a floor-length evening gown. I’ve made new friends. I’ve strengthened existing friendships. I painted tulips with a two-year-old and whispered my hopes to a newborn. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve surprised myself. And I’ve only just begun . . .