This was clearly intended for earlier in the year – oh well.
Part One -or- 2015
That was my word last year. I intended it to mean that I would embrace every opportunity that was presented to me in the course of the year. That made sense given the fact I was planning a cross country move – there would clearly be plenty of new things to embrace. And I feel like I embraced what life threw at me fairly well. I sat in the happiness and excitement and I sat in the sadness and loss that comes with moving 3000 miles away from your family and friends and almost everything you love. I feel like I lived my word in the best way that I could.
But there was something unexpected in that. While doing that I learned to embrace I am. I have always been too much of something and it something I have never liked about myself. I have always wanted to be that quite and soft spoken Good Christian Girl (TM). But that was never me. I often joke that my family never knew what to do with a daughter like me. But the truth is I didn’t know what to do with myself.
The last year was good and hard. Lonely and exciting. But in that transition something I never expected happened – I started to learn what to do with myself.
Part Two -or- 2016
I did something out of the ordinary right before Thanksgiving last year. I wrote an email to a blogger who I’ve followed for years. I buy her books and occasionally will comment on a post or would like an Instagram picture but that is far as my engagement goes. But during a particularly hard time I decided to reach out in a new way to a person who had no clue I existed.
I was surprised by myself but even more surprised when less than two days later I had a response from her. Her words were much what I expected a response would be like, but I still felt heard and noticed and validated and comforted. Among all of the words I had hoped to hear there was one line that caught me off guard
And in the meantime, leave a bit of room in your story to be surprised – maybe not today, maybe not for years, but perhaps….
Room to be surprised.
It made so much sense given that I joke my life could be summed up in a simple phrase
I WAS DEFINITELY NOT EXPECTING THIS.
All the best and all the worst things that have happened in my short life have been followed by this sentiment in varying degrees of excitement, profanity, fear, anger or joy but always with utter bewilderment
As the we drew closer to the beginning of this year that word, surprise continued to be in the back of my mind and I knew it would be mine for 2016 and perhaps much longer.
As this year has continued I keep going back and in times when I don’t know what to do I have a particular friend who will remind me of my promise to myself to leave room to be surprised.
Allowing myself to not be so caught up in my plan and having things go me way has been one of the best things I could have ever done for myself and it continues to bring scary and wonderful results.
So here is to the rest of 2016 – may we all leave a little bit of room in our stories to be surprised.
PS This morning I even surprised myself by writing a thing