2011, I bid you adieu

Jammer 2012
Jammer contemplating the new year with the help of my crochet project

It's been a long time since I made a New Year resolution.  I've mostly just allowed the years to slip by.  But this year, I felt more reflective, perhaps because beginning to write 2012 on all my documents coincides with leaving my job and moving to a different state, reuniting with Navah and figuring out what comes next for me.  With all the upheaval, I was drawn to a worksheet by Andrea Scher of Mondo Beyondo fame

I sat down with a cup of tea this weekend and wrote out some of my thoughts about the year.  It was a challenging one for me.  I was often overcome, simultaneously, by anger, guilt, disappointment, shame - mostly with myself.  I felt bereft of gratitude, which is perhaps the saddest state of all, and the one that left me feeling most ashamed.  I was stuck for much of the year - in my own muckiness, wearing the evil twin sister of rose-colored glasses. 

On the Mondo Beyondo worksheet, I had a difficult time answering the questions about courage and strength, about bravery, about the things I was proud of.  I read a lot these days about having compassion - for ourselves, for others.  Practicing that compassion meant that I searched hard for those places where I could be proud, where I could see strength. 

But it also meant that I looked in the eye as best I could those places where I am disappointed, where I have let myself down.  After all, if I can't admit my own failings this year, how will I find the courage to forgive myself for them? 

In the process I determined that, more than anything else, 2011 was a year of learning.  I learned a great deal about the person that I am and about the person that I'm not.  I discovered some things about myself that have been difficult to accept, and some things that I can't quite accept yet.  I'd like to believe that these experiences of coming face to face with our own limits, our own flaws and human-ness, are also the experiences that keep us moving towards more deeply inhabiting our most authentic selves. 

There was an image that used to plague me when I was in treatment for my eating disorder.  I remember telling my therapist that if I were a drawing, my whole life I would've been a tidy pen-and-ink portrait with crisp lines.  But once I developed my eating disorder - and really once I entered treatment and started diving in to figure out what was wrong in there, I felt like someone was dripping water on the drawing and the lines were blurring, and I couldn't figure out what I was supposed to be anymore.  It was terrifying. 

But the blurring was also what made it possible for me to begin drawing my own lines, and eventually to trust that I could sometimes exist in a space with no lines at all. 

This weekend I pulled out a manifestation board that I created last year around this time, right before I started my job, the one that I'm leaving now.  I had sensed the need to speak out to the universe my heart's desires.

Manifestation Board

So often this year, I felt that same old fear from twelve years ago that my lines were blurring, that I wasn't sure what my picture looked like, and that I needed to know.  Inside I flailed about for some grounding, for some affirmation that I was on the right path.  Looking at that board again this weekend, I thought about how difficult it can be to trust in our own process, to make peace with the blurriness, to believe that the place we are is the place we're supposed to be. 

2011 was moving me step by tiny step toward my manifestations.

The end of the Mondo Beyondo worksheet challenged me to set an intention for the new year, to name it.  For me, 2012 will be the Year of Trust.  Trust in the universe, in the people around me, in the messiness of life, and in myself. 

As challenging as 2011 was, I enter 2012 magnificently blessed.  I'm engaged to the woman I love, moving to a place that warms my heart (even if it freezes my toes!), with a dog that I adore. I'm significantly less in debt than when I started the year, and I've had the truly remarkable support of wonderful family and friends through all my whining.  I've taken a writing class, continued blogging, discovered a love of photography, made new friends, and watched my sister thrive in Rwanda. 

So, although I'm won't pretend that I'm sad to be saying goodbye to 2011, I'm not slamming the door on it. I'm thankful for the gifts and lessons of the year, and I'm practicing forgiveness for the rough parts.

I don't know what 2012 will bring, but I'm trying to lean into that not-knowing-ness.  I suspect I'll find that trusting a bit more will also open me up to being a bit more grateful, a bit more compassionate, a bit more giving, a bit more present.

In the midst of writing this post a few days ago, I told Navah that I was having a really hard time figuring out how to end it (hmmm....kind of like ending 2011?). She hadn't read it but knew the topic.  She suggested "Goooooooo 2012!!!!"

I poo-pooed the idea. "The post is more serious than that," I told her.  But as I come to the end here, I think she might have been right on the money.

Gooooooooo 2012!!!