On our 13-hour, post-Christmas drive from the East Coast back to Michigan, I was catching up on Yoga Girl’s podcast and listening to her episode titled “Rituals to Set Your New Year’s Intentions”. As a part of setting your intentions for the upcoming year, she lead us through a series of questions that also asked you to reflect back on 2018. One of the questions was, “If you had to describe 2018 in one word, what would it be?”. Hmmm. I paused the Podcast. I thought for a minute. And then it came to me. “Uncomfortable”. 2018 was a very uncomfortable year for me.
Truth be told, I started the year off on the wrong foot. I was feeling very reluctant to let 2017 go, because contrary to most people I knew (and America in general), I actually had a really great year. I got married, crossed a bunch of National Parks off my bucket list, took a dream honeymoon through Croatia and Slovenia, got to be a bridesmaid in a dear friend’s wedding, and I was able to spend a lot of time with friends and family near and far.
Cue Frank Sinatra: “When I was 33, it was a very good year”…
But then towards the end of the year…the energy started to turn. There were some health scares in my family that caught me off guard and shifted the ground underneath me. Christmas ended up being emotionally difficult that year, with so many things going wrong that we packed up and left early. And I remember spending New Year’s Day feeling uncharacteristically out of sorts, not sure what to do with myself, with no motivation to set any goals or affirmations for the year ahead. And then there was that botched coffee cake of course.
In retrospect, it was absolutely an omen.
I live a good life. A privileged life. I don’t have much to complain about it. But 2018 felt tough for me. Physically, emotionally, spiritually—everything. It taught me a bunch of lessons I didn’t want to learn. It showed me a side of myself I didn’t want to meet (nor one that I felt equipped to deal with). And it made me face some of my greatest fears head on, which was both terrifying and liberating all at once.
For the first time in my 34 years, I struggled with my mental health…then with my physical health, and as someone who has been blessed with near-perfect health my entire life, this freaked me the fuck out (I will write more on this later, I am ok though). There were many months when I felt like I didn’t have it together. When I didn’t feel like myself. And that was new for me. And I could not get used to it.
I looked for answers everywhere. I spoke with a friend who is an intuitive healer. I journaled. I leaned on my yoga and meditation practices. I worked with crystals. I got my tarot cards read. I had an astrologer look at my chart and explain to me what was happening with the planets throughout the year to see if it linked up with how I was feeling (and oh, it did, astrology is very real). I talked to friends. I cried. I sat with it.
Last year was all about the shadow work for me, and as someone with a chart full of Sagittarius, let me tell you, I much prefer spending my time in the light. But as Grammy used to say, “This too shall pass”.
And it did. Enough so anyways that I feel able to reflect on it now. And to let it go. And to move on.
I am so, so ready for 2019.
While last year was about inner work, this year it’s all about the outer work. I’m getting out there. I’m putting myself out there. I’m taking action.
Most of my goals for the year reflect this too: Joining Ann Arbor’s Speed Skating Club (I’ve gone twice already and am loving it), take photography classes at the local community college (school starts this Wednesday!), get my writing published (I’m working on a few pieces right now), participate in a Mortified show (look this up if you’re not familiar, it’s amazing), start my 300-hour yoga teacher training and add another class to my teaching schedule…and the list goes on.
It’s time. I’m ready. Cheers to odd-numbered years. 🥂