One of my students from the yoga studio is moving to Mexico. I have been practicing and teaching Yin yoga with her for over a year, so I have gotten to know her pretty well, but this news definitely took me by surprise. Her story is pretty interesting. She works as a freelance writer and she has also been studying Spanish for years. At this point, she feels ready to immerse herself in the language and culture so she can take the next step and become a translator or an interpreter.
It sounds like a pretty cool plan. And to top it off, she is leaving on New Year's Day because it was the cheapest ticket she could find. I can't think of a more significant way to change your life than to pack your bags and move to another country on the first day of a new year.
Of course, we all don't go through such drastic changes, but I think most of us take time around the holidays to re-assess our priorities, clear away some clutter and make plans for our future. When the ball drops at midnight on New Year's Eve, we are all hoping for a fresh start.
Last year, I received my acceptance to yoga school on New Year's Day. I remember feeling so excited and ready to make that change in my life. And it turned out to be one of the best decisions I have made in a long time. Yoga teacher training set me on the path that has brought me to where I am today. And I will always be grateful for that experience.
This year, I find myself in a much different place. I am no longer at the beginning of this journey. It feels like I am sitting at the rest stop looking at a map and trying to figure out which road to take next. I have so much to look forward to in 2016. I just don't know exactly what it is yet.
I am starting to form a pretty clear vision of the life I would like to have in the future. I can picture myself living with Mark Johnson in a place that combines our two worlds into something new that represents both of us. And I can envision myself making enough money to pay the bills doing some sort of job that does not crush my soul on a daily basis. And I can see myself practicing yoga, cooking healthy meals, reading, writing, meditating and creating things.
All of this sounds wonderful. I just have no idea of where, when or how I am going to get there. In the past, that would have really bothered me. But I have become accustomed to living with uncertainty and not having all of the answers. And I know that everything will unfold according to whatever the universe has planned for me. The challenge for me this year is to clear some space and be open to making changes when the opportunity arises.
After I got sick, I spent two years trying to understand why and how I had arrived at that place in my life. During the healing process, I focused a lot of my energy on analyzing my past experiences, my motivations and the choices I made. It was very beneficial at the time, but it is also emotionally exhausting. While I can't magically erase my story (nor would I want to) I think I am finally ready to move on.
Whether you are relocating to another country, or just rearranging the furniture where you live, it is impossible to completely start over because you always bring yourself with you. As long as I keep re-living the anger, frustration, resentment, fear and sadness from my past experiences, I will never truly be free.
Getting closure has always been important to me. And today, I took my first step. This one involves my ex-boyfriend. Even though we broke up over the summer, he still texts me once in awhile. Sometimes just to say hello. Sometimes to say goodnight. Sometimes to try and engage in a dialogue that could lead to a reconciliation.
Every time I get a text from him, it feels like such an intrusion into my life. Yet, I also feel this sense of obligation to respond to him. Part of me feels like I would be a bad person if I didn't respond. And there is another part of me that doesn't want to hurt his feelings by telling him that I have met someone else. Which makes no sense given how he treated me, but for some reason I still feel like I want to be kind to him.
Today, I decided it had to stop. I texted him and told him that it will soon be a New Year, and I asked him to please leave our relationship in the past. I hope that he will respect my wishes and stop contacting me, but if he doesn't, then I am going to finally stop responding. Though it may not seem like a lot, those interactions with him use up precious energy. Energy that could be directed toward something much more productive.
We all want to start the new year with a clean slate. But a clean slate is more than just throwing out the expired food from the pantry - although I also did that today. The real work of starting over comes from the inside out. Recognizing what may be holding us back and trying, in some small way, to begin to let it go.