As a new year begins, one can’t help to reflect on the year that has just passed. What a wild ride. I’m not a resolution type girl, because I feel making new years resolutions can place one on a dangerous path of unfulfilled and unmet expectations, especially if and when things don’t pan out. For more about why resolutions are problematic, click here.
Of course one must live with hopes and dreams, however, in most cases, maybe slow and steady “wins the race.” Perhaps it’s not about how you’re going to accomplish something, change your lifestyle and become someone better, but instead accept what has been given to you and work what what you have, while still keeping a glimmering flame alive for those moments of joy, beauty and peace.. however few and far between they may seem to come.
This article is an ode to hopping on another reflective bandwagon. It’s so cliche. I suppose I could have tried to think of a more “original” idea or attempt to come up with something new and innovative, but I like to recycle and compost. How can one literally turn manure and decaying matter that’s been thrown your way into fertile soil and organic material that can be used to plant further seeds of cultivating blossoms? It’s like the age old saying, what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. How annoying. What if one doesn’t want to be a stiff, solid strong rock? Sometimes it seems easier to wither and float away. It seems more appealing to be a leaf that changes colors like a chameleon, or drifts from one tree to the next. Rumi, the legendary Persian poet, Islamic scholar and Sufi mystic states, if you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished? So the question then is are we meant to be shaped and polished and who is doing the polishing?
Apparently there are a plethora of various polishing techniques. When one polishes something, perhaps a jewel, a sculpture, or a car, sometimes a piece of paint needs to be completely scraped off, a piece of metal needs to be burned at extreme temperatures or a piece of wood needs to be rubbed harshly with sandpaper. How painful. However, without taking these necessary steps, how can the process of enhancement and ultimate refinement continue? One can “gloss over” and continue to paint thicker and thicker layers on one’s walls in order to hide the festering mold and holes, but the underlying matter still remains. Sometimes we have to be stripped. Stripped savagely. And it sucks.
As I continue on my reflective bandwagon, the common themes of my year have been related to loss, renewal and deep questioning. I started off the year stranded in the snow in a four car pile-up, and ironically I ended the year in a t-boned car accident that’s left me stranded without a car. In addition to addressing my health care needs due to these accidents, I’ve also had many other transitions throughout the year.
- completed a contract assisting a music school, which resulted in a publication of a music textbook.
- ended a job at an Italian bistro I worked at for 2 years, due to the restaurant closing its doors.
- was a temporary part-time teaching assistant at a private preschool working with 4 and 5 year olds. They were so cute.
- started a serving position at a prominent and upscale Trattoria in downtown Seattle.
- hosted my first annual chili cook-off (my team won!)
- said good-bye to old roommates and hello to new ones.
- became more actively involved in volunteering at my church.
- started graduate school, working towards a Master’s in Counseling Psychology.
- began questioning the philosophies behind my church and my “relationships” there.
Wishes for 2015..
- Take some time to travel, if possible.
- Spend more time with old friends and deepen my current friendships.
- Go on real “dates.”
- Participate in an intimate and fruitful relationship with someone who holds a common shared vision.
- Continue my post-accident health care journey.
- Continue to grow in my faith and remain hopeful.. wherever the path shall lead.
by Kristin Bach