Tomorrow begins the first day of my last semester of graduate school.
When the clock turned over from 2018 to 2019, I felt a renewed sense of excitement and anticipation. I was reminded of all the upcoming beginnings and endings. I felt sad and grateful and
In May when I graduate, it will be 5 years since my ex-husband revealed to me that he didn’t really love me as he said he did, and that he needed to remove himself from the “us” that we had been creating for years. Five years, from then til now. It’s a little mind blowing to think about how dramatically my life has changed.
In five years’ time, I will have lost a marriage and subsequently gained much more love–for myself and for others–than I ever thought possible. In five years’ time I will have experienced being laid off and stumbling through an uncertain career path, and the subsequent discovery of the vocation I’ve always had my dreams pointed toward. In five years’ time, I’ll have uncovered the depths of my dependency on alcohol, and then my ability to get and stay sober despite social & personal pressures to continue drinking.
I have a deeply internal sense that 2019 is going to go well for me. By and large, this year will be a turning point for me in most areas of my life. I am excited, a little scared, and to be quite honest, anxious about all the change that is going to take place. But, I’ve got it. Things will be okay–they will continue to get better. I’m preparing myself mentally, day by day, to let go and continue to ride the waves of life as they come. I’m going to try to spend a lot more time listening–really listening, and hearing what the world has to say to me. I want to hear things more clearly, and I want to really understand what is being said to me, rather than being reactive or defensive. I want to be still and attentive and intentional in my dealings with others. I want to be aware.
And so, knowing this and developing this intention in my mind, I think I’ve gently stumbled across my “word” for 2019: quiet.
In 2019, I want to be more quiet. I want to train my mind and my ears and my heart to be quiet. I want to focus my attention on the world around me and really hear it–really hear what it’s saying, what it wants me to know. I want to cultivate a mindset of mindfulness that draws upon my ability to shut my mouth and open my ears.
I think–I hope–that this word and this intention will not only help me internally to find stillness and attention, but that it will help me create greater intimacy among friends, help me create deeper focus in my professional life as a therapist, and help me connect more genuinely in relationships with others who are closest to me.
To assist with this, I’ll keep following the path I’ve been forging for myself over these past five years, with some added foundational bricks: more yoga, more meditation, more time spent without my earbuds, less time with my nose in my phone/computer, more books, fewer mindless newsfeed scrolling sessions, more time journaling and reflecting, less time bingeing on Netflix and Hulu.
Quiet. For all the change coming my way, I’m hopeful that cultivating quiet will keep my heart and mind capable of the flexibility I need to endure. Or, at the very least, give me time and space to retreat before putting on my bold face for the world.