2015 was quite possibly one of the more challenging of my life. Nothing extraordinarily life-changing happened, so to speak - my family was healthy, our home was safe, our lives without much drama - and yet, over coffee the other day, I heard myself tell a friend it certainly felt like one of the more heart-wrenching years I had tackled, and I was glad to see it go.
Maybe it was the stillness, the lack of momentum, the enough-is-enough of working from home alone. Maybe it was the newfound proximity to my emotions, my age and my purpose. Maybe it was starting two businesses within about 10 months' time, and in the end, realizing I wasn't particularly in love with either. (Freakin' hindsight.)
Don't get me wrong - I could, and will likely, share millions of stories about the amazing things I've learned on this mini-break (that is what we're here for after all), and yet I can't help but somehow feel like I have a post-grad school gap without the European backpacking stories to back it up.
As I tried to wrap my head around my goals for 2016 - the huge directional shifts I wanted to make and the plans necessary to get me there - I described it to another friend as feeling like I opened and closed a lot of doors. Or rather, perhaps, they seemed to close on me.
Then she hit me with an even bigger truth ... "you didn't close doors, you just built a screen." She explained I opened ideas, gave them fresh air and unlocked something inside myself I hadn't had a view of before. DAMN.
She's right - I'm not the person I was when 2015 began, and certainly not the same as I was years ago, but sometimes it takes these fresh perspectives to remember so. I share similar qualities with that girl, and yet, I am so incredibly changed.
I have been shifted by these newfound perspectives, screened doors breathing in a continued flow of lessons and inspiration. The view isn't always pretty, but it's necessary and with purpose. Prior to their opening, I believed in the potential on the other side, but I couldn't see it. And now? Now the potential is in my view every single day.
Potential. I love that word. It's so indecisive.
It means there's still an option, more to learn, more to see, more to consider, and yet an ongoing option to move in a direction of promise. I often feel pushed to decide, when in fact, I'm learning sometimes the best decision is not to make one.
Sometimes, the greatest decision we can make is to simply recognize the potential - to create an awareness of the options and ideas as they begin to sprout. We must acknowledge the number of times they seem to flow in and out of our days, honoring them when they rise, letting them go when they must fall.
And most importantly, we mustn't judge ourselves for the way we handle them in either circumstance. Because it is in our lack of action that we allow this potential to catch the wind, gaining just enough momentum to sweep us away when the time is just right.