2013 has been a huge year.
I moved states. Lived with my parents, friends, and ultimately with a great roommate in the pretty condo where I now reside. I stopped being a sales person and became a blogger, a painter, a writer for Examiner, and I’m now in the midst of becoming an Esthetician. Traveled through Thailand after running my first half-marathon in Santa Cruz. Packed up and drove my life from Lake Tahoe to Portland, then months later took an epic road trip with a new Portland companion to Lake Tahoe (and back) for a friend’s wedding. I made more friends in a year than I have in several, by way of participating in Bold Academy, Landmark Forum, and lots of uncomfortable conversations with strangers. I read a LOT, listened to a TON of music, and shared a heck of a lot of myself with the internet.
Several friends and family members have visited me in the eight months of living here in Portland. A few Bold Academy friends stayed on my couch during World Domination Summit, during which time we went on to break a world record together floating along the Willamette, hand-in-hand, with hundreds of other WDSers. My friends over at Loveumentary crashed in my living room during their PDX pit-stop, which allowed us to catch up over home-cooked meals, Voodoo Doughnuts, and one of this city’s many unique burlesque shows. Close friend and chocolatier, Ben, explored Portland with me for a full week, and we had a lot of fun sampling chocolates, hitting up a karaoke bar or two, journeying through Farmer’s markets, dancing in the park, and simply enjoying the gorgeous view of downtown from my living room windows with a bottle of wine.
As I sit here in my pjs on my cozy bed reflecting, I have to take note of everything I have in this moment. Because, though I am so damn grateful for all the amazing things I’ve experienced in one short year, I also am taking away a bigger lesson — to appreciate the now and never stop creating. Even though a lot has happened, it’s up to me to not get stuck or too comfortable with what has occurred already. We’ve got to keep moving in the direction of our dreams, even if we’ve already realized some. Create and appreciate, appreciate and create.
In this moment, I have my health, sanity, a doggy companion, a lovely roof over my head and (thank goodness) still some savings in the bank. And that’s enough for now. In fact, that’s more than enough. I’ve also got this pen and paper, and world of ideas that are mine to share. I’ve got love emanating from myself and the people I surround myself with. I’ve got tea in my mug.
We always try to hold on to that one insight or quote or anecdote that’s going to make our lives easier. We think, ‘life will be so simple now if I just write this down and keep it on my desk or paste it on my mirror or tuck it in my pocket to look at every day.’ But then inevitably we end up losing the piece of paper, or quit reading it, or read it but sadden to find that the words no longer have the impact that they used to.
Well, what if that’s okay. What if that is just a big metaphor for life? What if the answer that we are all so curious to find or trying so hard to cling on to doesn’t really exist here… because there is no Answer. There are no answers to how to live this life. What if that’s the point? We aren’t meant to KNOW the one true meaning or way of life, and the sooner we get this the less we try to hold on to stuff and the sooner we recognize the feeling of being enough as we are and having enough to live out our lives the way we should.
I’m not proposing that life is meaningless or that there is no point. I don’t believe that at all. But what I’m offering is the idea that whatever meaning or significance it does have isn’t for us to know. Or at least not for us to know yet. We have some hurdles to jump, some living to do, some mistakes to make and our own hearts to break before we really KNOW what this is all about.
There are some amazing books I’ve read this year, like Man’s Search for Meaning and The Alchemist, that demonstrate the power we each have over our minds in overcoming enormous obstacles. Feeling like we have a reason for being can propel us to great heights in this life. And, I do think we each bring something special and important to the world that only exists because we are here.
However, I don’t think we have to know the answer for how to live. The way I live may be disastrous for another person to replicate, and your key to life may not fit in another person’s door. Thus, we all have a lot to learn from one another and we benefit most when we share our worlds with each other, but getting frustrated over not having the answer to our own mortality is a waste of energy.
2013 was a great year for many of my loved ones — so many engagements, weddings, pregnancies, births, new homes, new jobs. 2013 was also a tough year for many friends, and likely some of you reading this now. Either way, let’s get excited about today — this moment right now — and for 2014. Because, no matter what happened in the last 365 days, we all are a little bit older, a little bit more experienced, a little bit more aware, a little bit more ourselves, and, without a doubt, we are enough.
With courage, love, and intensity,
This post is dedicated to the lovely Therese Schwenkler of The Unlost and her ‘Year of Enough’ challenge that launches tomorrow. As Therese states on her site: “Join me and thousands of others across the globe as we kick off the new year from a place of “enough”: 23 interviews. 23 challenges. Private Facebook Community. All free. The party’s coming straight to your inbox, every day in January.”