This is one of two times each year when we see our social media feeds pop up with year- or decade-in-review posts. (The other time, of course, is on individuals’ birthdays and especially when they reach a milestone birthday.) Obviously these times encourage the contemplative nature which we could probably use a lot more of! The reflections are often filled with the joys, tragedies, frustrations, and hopes we want to share with our close and distant connections. Sometimes they’re simple or vague. Sometimes they’re for random strangers and other times they’re for no one other than ourselves.
As I’ve been reading them this year, the image above came up and it hit me because I had just used similar terms while discussing the 2019 journey and the path awaiting me in 2020 with a dear friend.
While the friend I was chatting with was firmly and understandably in the “2019 was crap and I need 2019 to be done” camp, I began to fully appreciate what 2019 did for me as well as reflect on the years that led up to this transformative year. I feel like many of us say something similar every year, but last year was a wild ride! I am so fortunate to have a wide and diverse group of great friends & connections and among them we’ve seen weddings, births, and deaths. Break-ups and divorces. There have been moves into new homes, new jobs, amazing travels, and new connections made. I’ve even finally listened to a dormant desire do something different.
That dormant seed of embarking on this journey was awoken by someone I met at a dinner with a friend; a dear friend I’ve known barely two years who has enriched my life in many ways. That friend I wouldn’t have even met if not for gaining a new perspective from an amazing person I only met after a breakup with someone who, in turn, made me feel like a truly attractive person for the first time (but definitely not the last) in my 36 years of life. (Something about a butterfly flapping its wings?)
Obviously it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows during these events and there were many ups and downs even with the most influential of those relationships. And that’s the point. We’re all given great joys and terrible tragedies to deal with each year. We’re all dealt a different hand (hah) and it is our perspective which determines how we play that hand. I’ve dealt with being made fun of, being underestimated, feeling unattractive, and frustrated living in a world designed for thumbs throughout my life. With the exception of the thumbs part, these are common themes, right? I think besides sharing many of these same themes, we’ve also occasionally realized that those challenges we overcame most easily are the ones we went into with a positive attitude and knowledge learned during past lessons, both negative and positive.
One person making me feel attractive eventually became a catalyst to be able to feel that from others as well. And to truly feel attractive to myself. Lesson learned, even though this was a long and painful one to learn.
So like that lion strutting out of the darkness, I am mindful and thankful of those lessons of 2019 and years past and also looking fondly forward to the many new and exciting things on the horizon. I am excited to be meeting and hanging out with the people who will form my future while also recognizing the great people I know as far back as childhood who helped bring me to where I am now.
Let’s do this.
Jim, I love, love, love your writing!
I have mentioned you to Rich many times – especially because you’re both obsessed with wine!
You’re always welcome to visit and wine – or whine!