As I spontaneously wrote a ‘Christmas letter’ (email) a couple of weeks ago, I was astonished at all that had happened during the year, the various projects and pursuits I detailed made me sound very busy and accomplished. But I realised that those were merely the visible, dignified moments, and it is really everything else which happened that has shaped my year the most. Not surprisingly, what was not mentioned in my email were the moments of self-doubt, the heartbreak, the absurd “is this really happening” moments, and the usual stress and hurdles involved in university life. 2016 has been a year of many new experiences, of testing boundaries and going outside my comfort zone, and it was cathartic.
I learn more about myself every year. Sometimes I wish I could go back to the naive bliss of 16, or the tentative determination of 21, when adulthood didn’t seem quite real yet and the world was still distant and yet to be discovered.
Some dreams I once cherished are now seen as the vain myths they really are, perpetuated by a patriarchal society that would frown on most of the things I did this year!
The non-judgmental, caring empathy displayed by some beautiful souls in my life has given me space to make mistakes, to learn, and to move on. Whether geographically you are near or far, I will always be grateful.
Through inner reflection, friendship and the wisdom of my lecturers, I have discovered that healing is possible, and past trauma can become an inner fire of purpose, rather than a lead weight. This week I spent time with someone who I hadn’t seen in over a decade, and it was unexpectedly sweet, but also brought sadness at what has been lost in that time. I also spent time with others who have lead rich but humble lives of service, but who are now struggling as minds and bodies gradually fail and independence becomes less and less.
I marvel at the diversity among humans and their capacity to love or destroy. In this endless cycle of a fight for survival/race to the finish/search for eternity, a desire to see justice and peace may seem pointless, but nonetheless at least it gives purpose.
I realise this post says a lot without really saying much at all, but that’s the beauty of the spaces in-between the lines…it’s just my experience, and it isn’t more important or less valuable than yours or the next person’s. Writing helps me to make meaning of both the mundane and the marvelous. I’m not afraid to embrace both.