Happy New Year, everyone! We’ve made it through the first Monday of 2020. I am back from a fun, non-stop trip to Europe, and ready to dive into this year with an open heart.
Toward the end of 2019, I was feeling some heavy energy, especially when reflecting on the last decade as a whole. It hit me, that NOTHING in my life turned out as I expected. Looking back, I realized that every decision I made that felt forced, was towards this romanticized expectation I set, and every decision that followed my heart was against it. Don’t get me wrong, it always works out, no matter the path you choose, but I wanted to explore WHY we set such specific expectations for our lives instead of just moving through each moment as it comes. . .
This year, I’m dropping my “resolution” and focusing on the intention of being open to all that comes my way.
I’ve always looked forward to a New Year. I would spend so much time crafting the perfect resolution, cleaning my house to perfection, and finding that perfect pair of underwear to wear at midnight (clearly all superstition). However, this year was different. Any time someone would ask about my “new year resolution” or I would start to write out my plans for the new year, I felt the weight of expectation on me. I wasn’t sure where it was coming from. I use to love planning out to a tee the year ahead, but this time I just felt resistance.
The last few weeks of the decade felt heavy. I felt as if it were an end of an era, and I failed to accomplish a lot of the plans I made the many years before. Regardless, I was still determined to set a resolution, read it at midnight, and store it by my bedside like each previous year. So, as I sat on a 9 hour flight, pen in my hand and plenty of time on my side, I started to write — more like doodle, a whole lot of nothing. It realized on that flight that I wasn’t going to “resolve” a whole year of my life before it even began.
It was liberating. It felt like the possibilities were endless, rather than prearranged for me. I was always in control of every aspect, working towards a life that matched my expectations.
The biggest realization was looking back on the last decade, and understanding that even though I did everything according to plan, it wasn’t the path that was meant for me.
I was so naive to think there was a “perfect” way to do life. I was always so concerned with doing things “right”, that it moved me away from my authentic path.
My expectations lead me to graduate, get my first “real” job, move up the corporate ladder, fall in love, buy a home, get married, travel around the world and create a life that looked pretty perfect to the plan I created years before.
But then in a flash. . . I got a divorce, quit my job, lost myself, then found her again, tried to stay far from love, met a guy, felt what it was like to feel truly loved, followed my passion, started a business, traveled more of the world.
The heaviness I felt was lifted by accepting this new path. The unknown is filled with so much adventure. I’ve learned more about myself since my path took that turn, then I had in the 20+ years before it. I believe the more difficult intention is to stay grounded in the reality of the moment. Our brains have this beautiful ability to romanticize our futures. It’s essential for our growth, It’s how we can innovate the world around us. Where it fails us, is when our brains paint the picture of expectation, and our hearts move in a different direction. The work is finding peace, when the path of expectation doesn’t meet our path of reality.
So as I sat on that flight, thinking of the plan that completely derailed, and how happy I was for it, I realized that all I every want to do, is to just BE, because only in the present moment, right here, right now, is life truly being lived.
I learned through those experiences that no matter how perfectly you plan something, life will unfold the way it’s going to unfold; and you can either flow with grace or resist, causing waves of friction to harden our core.
My hope for you all this year is to truly live each moment. Explore new paths, rid of societal expectations, and explore life with an open heart.