2013 eased slowly out of the calendar last night--we toasted the beginning of 2014 with good friends in a low-key home-cooked meal at their house followed with some games and much laughter. We were home and tucked into bed by 1:30 and not hungover at all this morning when we got up to take an icy, cold hike at Rosy Mound Natural Area. The beginning of 2014 was sort of exactly what I wanted--quiet, relaxed, restful.
2013 was a year of massive change for both me and Ian. Not only did we move out of Chicago after 7 years of living there, but we also both transitioned in our careers, faced family ups and downs, faced our own aging, answered countless questions about if and when we are having children (answer: not sure, probably not and no time soon), purchased a home, purchased a trailer, purchased a new dog, threw caution to the wind and quit the system, opted to buy our own health insurance, celebrated our 5 year marriage anniversary, celebrated 13 years of being partners, made some amazing friends, let go of other friends, grew up a little, continued to feel younger than I actually probably am, ran a lot, practiced a lot of yoga, took some risks in my business....the list goes on and on.
Reflecting on 2013, it was a good year. I learned a lot. I learned a lot about who I am and what I want from life--how I want to live, where I want to live, what a "quality" life means to me, what I need in order to be happy, what I am able to forgo and do without.
I learned about the types of relationships and friendships I want to have and the sorts I want to let go. I've learned that authenticity is probably THE most important quality a person can have--be it a friend, a partner, a client or simply a person on the street, I have a keen sense to sniff out authenticity. Being authentic has never felt more important to me. I've reignited my desire and love of travel and have seen so many places this year alone that I never thought I would see--from Hawaii to Texas to California to South Carolina to Wisconsin and everywhere in between, I'm reminded that travel is one of the only things you pay for that makes you richer in the end.
And then 2013 also reminded me how much I love home and place and a sense of staying put. I've been so transitional this entire year--deciding to leave Chicago, deciding to take a year off of teaching, deciding to move to West Michigan, deciding to travel, deciding to run my own business---it was a year of massive decision and massive change, and, as a result, I never really felt settled. Looking back, it was a year of a lot of stress and a lot of anxiety. Perhaps even some trauma if I'm being super honest about it. But trauma is what makes us grow, I think, too.
Now that I'm back in Grand Haven for a few weeks, I am finally starting to feel settled, even to go so far as to buy an unlimited pass of yoga at the local studio--it's nice to be in one place and not constantly on the move. It's nice to have a spot to eat breakfast and to recognize people in the grocery store and to know the schedule at the library for their winter hours. Just being still is a goal for 2014--just taking in what is around me rather than constantly being distracted by the next thing, the next step, the next move, the next place to explore--it's ok, I think, to just be and to just stay in one spot, to dig in, to create roots. I'm reminded of my favorite movie, The Big Chill, when William Hurt and Kevin Kline's characters get into an argument about Hurt's drug dealing and Kline says to him, "I live here. We live here. We're dug in."--that idea of having a place, a small town home to call home, really resonates with me.
So, I'm sad to say goodbye to 2013--it was a huge year for me--a year when I think I really grew more than I'm even aware. But I am so excited for 2014 and so excited to see what's to come. A game Ian and I love to play is "What will we be doing 1 year from now?" and we'll predict where we are going to be and what we'll be doing. I think it's amazing and scary and wonderful to be able to say right now "I have absolutely NO idea where, what or how we'll be 1 year from today."--and that is just fine.
Happy 2014, all, and enjoy your own adventure!