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My word for 2011 was feeling, and boy did I ever go through it on that one. I think I chose it because I could sense that feeling would run through 2011 like a rushing wind whether I wanted it to or not.
That’s kind of the sense I have about this year’s word too. I’ve chosen the word release, not just because it’s something that I want, but because it’s something I can feel happening, a movement in my spirit that I don’t think I can stop. Huge, monumental change is in store for me in the next eighteen months. Divorce, dissertation, graduation. Maybe relocation, career change. I don’t know. I don’t know any of it, but I know that these things will take time and energy, maybe all I have. So I don’t want to waste any on unnecessary things.
I’m feeling the need to be unencumbered. That this will be a year of shedding, a year of letting go. Of my marriage, obviously. That may be the most visible thing. Of possessions, yes. I have too much stuff, and I need to carefully consider what it’s for. But also of dreams, plans, expectations. I need to reevaluate, reconfigure. I need to open my hands so I can see whether the things I’ve been clutching are worth holding on to. Instead of agitating, I might need to stand very, very still in order to see what moves around me. It might be a year of slowing down, freeing myself of the deadlines I’ve imposed, taking time to exhale, so that when the right moment comes I can run fast.
But it will also be a year of stepping out, naked maybe. Of doing the things my heart says to do, even if I’m terrified. Running a half-marathon, as a tangible thing. Fighting for what I believe in. Learning where to say yes and where to say no. Having the courage to listen to and be very, very patient with myself. Letting go of fear, of the shoulds of other people and that I put on myself.
In all of this, there will be opportunities to let go of maybe the hardest things. Of disappointment, bitterness, anger, and offense. Guilt and shame, too. Of things that keep me moving in circles or craning my neck backwards or just pinned to the ground with their weight.
In 2012, I want to release all the things that keep me in any way from moving forward–because forward I am going.
I can feel it.