1. change of physical form: a complete or marked change of physical form, structure, or substance
2. change of appearance or character: a complete or marked change in appearance, character, or condition
3. supposed supernatural transformation: a transformation caused by supposed supernatural powers
me, on my wedding day. photo by daniel sheehan.On January 1st of this year, I declared this the “Year of Me.” I did not declare it out of selfishness. I declared it because it was necessary. I have never been one to make New Year’s resolutions, but I knew that this year, something had to change. This was the year I was going to listen to my gut and find the things that made me happy. This was the year I was going to be fearless and try new things – just to see what would happen. This was the year I would make space in my life so that I could breathe. And that is just what I did.
A lot has happened in a short amount of time. And it was all a conscious choice.
Eleven and a half months ago, I declared this the “Year of Me.” Eleven months ago, I got engaged, turning this into the “Year of We.” Eight months ago, I took a watercolor class. Six months ago, I bought my beloved camera. Six months ago, I bought my beloved laptop. Six months ago, I started this blog. Four months ago, I started running. Eleven weeks ago, I got married. Eleven weeks ago, I fell in love with Paris. Ten weeks ago, I decided I would quit my job and pursue my passion for photography. Three weeks ago, I quit my job.
I’ve been writing this “Year of Me” post in my head for months, thinking that I would share it in December, when most people start reflecting on the past year. But I’ve had a lot of time to reflect lately. A week ago today was the first Monday in years that I didn’t have to leave the house and go sit at a desk for eight hours. The very next day, I had my wisdom teeth removed. (Hmmm…there must be symbolism in there somewhere.) I have spent the past week healing (in more ways than one.) I have moved from the couch to the bed and back again more times than I can count. I have spent quality time with Oprah, my cat, and chocolate pudding. I haven’t picked up a book or written a blog post in days.
I have stopped everything for the first time in years.
If you’re anything like me, stopping is not easy. I’m so used to go-go-going and even when I have an excuse to do nothing (i.e. major dental surgery), I am making lists in my head of all of the things I should or could be doing. I had gone right into “poor me” mode when I realized that what I was experiencing was a gift. This is exactly what I asked for all those months ago (not the dental surgery, but the time to breathe.)
I think it will take a little more time for me to accept the new pace of my life and to fully grasp what has happened this year. What I have experienced is a metamorphosis. Life as I know it has changed, both externally and internally. And yes, sometimes it feels like a supernatural transformation aided in this change.
But I know that I did this. I chose this. I was cheered on by the most amazing husband, family, and friends. And for that, I will feel forever grateful.
Life is about experimenting. Life is a funky adventure! It’s about making choices and seeing what happens next. As the “Year of Me” comes to a close and I make my way into the “Year of Me, Part 2″ – I invite you to consider claiming next year the “Year of YOU”! If not for a whole year, maybe start with a week or a day. You deserve it.
For now, I have a few more choices to make to get me through the next few days and weeks:
I choose adventure and risk over playing it safe.
I choose to be okay with slowing down.
I choose to be okay with not knowing.
I choose gratitude.
I choose family.
I choose to laugh.
I choose to love.
I choose to breathe.
I choose to be.
What do you choose?