Last week was such a whirlwind, I'm just now having the time to properly honor the year that was a remarkable one. Feel free to jump ahead, if you just want lessons learned :)
In January, I began my year returning to LA after a three month hiatus, feeling refreshed and renewed. I returned to my restaurant job of 5 years, and felt the simple joy of being in a familiar environment again. One month later, still feeling called to pursue acting in some capacity, I auditioned for my MFA in San Francisco. I received some offers, but none that really resonated with me. Not too long after that, I found out that for two years (2013-2014) I had been subject to tax preparer fraud and would spend the next several weeks feeling a mixture of helplessness, paranoia and outright fury. After a lot of crying, and mailing a huge package to correct the process, I was able to feel a sense of normalcy again (however, still resolving this to date).
As Spring approached, I still felt like I was missing something in my life. I had routine, structure and hobbies, yet felt like there was more I could experience. The answer came in May, when I got to be ‘Birdie’ at Camp Grounded, and experience a weekend that forever changed my life. I sang in front of new friends, felt the freedom of not needing my phone and made deep, lasting connections with people that I consider my chosen family. June came, and I got to re-live my camp experience, this time as ‘Chickpea’, a Tribe Guide at Camp Wildfolk. I learned just how much energy and dedication it takes to work with children, and how I probably won’t venture into education any time soon.
Summer ended with Evolving Out Loud in August, where I learned I am not my feelings and emotions, I am the container that holds it all. Magic happened that weekend, and I soon serendipitously stumbled upon an event called Conscious Family Dinner. Having no idea what I was getting into, and showing up solo, I found a beautiful community that embraced me, made me feel valued and celebrated and am so proud to have grown into. November rattled me by obliterating my presidential expectations, and yet, I chose to experience a deeper calling as I enrolled and completed the Insight Seminar I, the weekend after the election took place. Celebrated another year around the sun. Two trips to Ojai. December brought joy again, with holiday lights and feelings of gladness to just be alive at this time. All of this year to culminate with the news of Gulfstream’s closing and my choice to move on to a new venture and chapter of my life.
Looking back, I remember that at each of these moments, I had no idea what would happen next or where it would lead to. Yet, all these seemingly random patches of life, became the essential fabric that weaved me through the year, opened my heart and showed me a level of life I always longed for, but could never articulate.
As I step into this new year, or rather, a continuation of the previous, I choose to peacefully step into the realm of not knowing. Change, uncertainty and pain will continue to arrive, and how we choose to respond is ultimately where we have the greatest freedom. And just because you change your circumstances and outer scenery, does not mean that you resolve an inner conflict. It takes time, patience and ultimately, self-compassion to move through the patterns and challenges of your life. Wherever you go, there you are.
With that, I wish you all a beautiful, joyous and transformative 2017! I’ll be right there on the ride with you ;)