burning in a year that speaks mostly of drowning.
2013 knocked me down and took me for a ride.
It had been easy to thrive in London. Something about that resplendent city clicked for me. I lived in a state of sheer wholeness that I can't put in words. I felt entirely realized and became accustomed to the wash of daily joy warming me each morning. It didn't need coaxing or cajoling; it was just there.
And then I left.
The beginning of the year was dim. I was recently returned from London, depressed and reeling, and life felt off. The needs-no-reason elation had been ripped away. My spiritual efforts depleted to be halfhearted and dispassionate. I realized I needed to develop intrinsic joy. Environment -- surrounding yourself with good-- is vital, but generating joy from within is paramount. It's everything because it can't be taken. I held out by forcing myself to find solace in the little things -- the daily ritual. I struggled for peace.
Summer came. It was a summer for healing. I fell into a wonderful group of friends, worked two jobs, and gathered myself. I wrote at the beginning, "I can't help but feel like I'm at a turning point in my life. Like what was, never will be again. There's a foreshadowing of change. And I want to run full speed-ahead while desperately clinging to all details of the past. I can't."
I was so right -- that summer divided my sense of self into a well-defined "before" and "after." Before this or after that and will I ever be the same again?
The year progressed and I waded through elation, confusion, beginning, heartbreak, healing, disruption, loss, delight, and indecision. Not in that order.
In the most terrifically and horribly cliché way, I felt like I found myself in London. At least, I thought I did. And now as I stagger and falter and sweat to secure my footing, I realize what I really found was the capability to reach a deeper, more developed level of bliss. There is no finding yourself. There is only building. and fighting. and straightening out. and rising.
Despite the darkness -- perhaps because of it, though -- there were many wonderful, burning moments. Burning in a year that speaks mostly of drowning. And the burning harbors hope.
Somewhere in those early dark months, a destructive voice crept in. And for an innately confident girl, this was new. It wasn't until my self-assurance lie in wreckage that I realized where those bitter thoughts were coming from. This year I'm going to kick them. Just, right in the face, I am.
I resolve to be kinder to myself.
To trust myself again.
To develop an ear to hear what my soul cries for.
To find solace in God first.
To burn more than I drown.