Saturday, December 31, 2016

At the end, at the beginning!

Here we are, the last day of 2016!
This day always brings up so many different trains of thought. People like to reflect on what they have achieved over the last year, maybe comparing it to years past and those achievements or regrets that have brought them to where they are today. I am no different, much of this morning has been filled with fleeting thoughts of goals set and met, and also of goals that have slipped on by...

2016 was such a year of transitions! And while it will be over at midnight, it is now launching all of us forward. I welcome the New Year with much anticipation, as new ventures unfold and new memories are made. I have spent much of this year doing the same as I have for the last seven, continuing onward through architecture school. However of course there are the other goals that run parallel- in years past it was racing, running farther and farther, challenging myself and my body to ultra marathons and seeing how far I could go...

This year, after the passing of my father, it was an inward journey. How far could I go back to find myself, the self that existed before the running, before architecture school, before adult life began, before I lost my dad. This too was an ultra of sorts, because it was full of unknowns. It was full of ups and downs, an emotional roller coaster. But it was a necessary journey, and I am thankful I took the time to truly go through with it. This type of self reflection I think is so easy to abandon. It is easy to just keep going forward, because going back is hard! Deciding to stop is hard. Much easier to keep the momentum going. It may seem like a waste of time to look back, to stop and reflect. Many people say don't bother, the past is gone...but I don't believe that. I don't believe the past is any less real than the time given to us today. It's all part of who we are, and the present becomes the past in an instant. Are we learning as we go, or are we merely stumbling ahead? Being still brings us back to now. It is easy to lose sight of things when we are constantly pushing onward, without taking the time now and then to look over our shoulder. Did you drop something? Did you forget something? Does it matter? Maybe not. But in my case it did. I looked back, and realized that there was a part of me that mattered very much that had been dormant for awhile. Like it was sitting on the bench, waiting to get back in the game. And I would not have found that part of me if I had not gone back for it. If I had not taken the time to realize it was even missing in the life that had begun to sprout from my constant forward progression.

There are phases in life. I truly believe that. Sometimes we are not ready for something to be revealed to us, sometimes it is and we miss it. We look back one day and we understand, and we change accordingly, or we acknowledge this truth and that simple acceptance shifts things in our thinking, which shifts things in our actions, which shifts things in our lives. All from a glance over the shoulder...

It is important to press on, to seek the new dawn that awaits us. It is important as well to remember the things that make us feel joy and love, and give us direction and stability. The things that become our compass through this life, whatever they may be. Hold on to them, and if you happen to lose sight of them, go back and find them. Take the time, it isn't going to slow you down. If anything, it will slingshot you ahead. Be brave. Everything is as it should be.

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