And all of the distance I have travelled this year. I have not stayed the same. [I have come to the decision that, if I can say this at the end of every year (every day.) I will have accomplished what I set out to do.] I have broken out of many shells, I have asked many questions, and stopped fearing them; rather, have learned to fall in Love with the questions. I have made decisions, I have accomplished goals and lists. Sitting beside me is an old companion, a coffee stained journal that doesn't remotely stay closed, its pages filled with ticket stubs and museum entry passes and pictures of dear friends with wide smiles and all of the ink-filled pages of all that I took in and discovered and all of the new mysteries that greet us when we try to figure "it" out.

It's been funny to read back and see what my fears and reservations of last year were, how tiny and conquerable they now are were- they are stamped out, have been stepped over and left behind. What a beautiful, terrible thing TIME is, keeping things far away from us and bringing them closer, chipping away the edges of pain, making us understand and gain perspective, making us forget and have to learn it again. We grow into more of ourselves and start to fill our adult bodies and fragile hearts.

And there are a few words that I am looking forward to in this coming year:

Trust. As I go on my merry, timid way, slowly I am finding that I can trust my heart and not my worrying head that keeps me up at night. More and more I see that He is right, that there is nothing to fear and even if it all seems so far and high and impossible, it is within the realm of possibility this miraculous world of wonder to grow wings or long legs or friends on whose shoulders we can stand to reach it. I want to continue to learn what it means to worry less and surrender more.

Dare. In a season of paying rent and foreseeing myself in the same place for at least another year, I catch myself, even if it's just a week at a time, sliding into auto-pilot. Coasting has become an unwelcome rhythm to me, and I hope to continue a habit of surprising myself, of growing, of taking a path of adventure and discovery, regardless of my familiar surroundings. Last year, throwing myself and a way-too-big bag on and off trains of foreign lands, sleeping on couches and hostels with rooms for $7/night and throwing caution to the wind has made all things less burdensome to take on, so I hope that this year I will take less calculated risk and be brave enough to continue to give my yes to more things; yes, I will risk for you.

Story. After a year of not touching my guitar for months on end and then picking it up and usually ending in tears or resolve that I will not be picking it up again, of writer's block and leaving pages in my journal blank for way too long, leaving thoughts unfinished and not written down, I am claiming [in the Oprah kind of way... doesn't she say that? CLAIM change or something] that this will be a year of words and poetry and stories and writing and songs stuck in my head and new things to say. New lessons, new things to share. It never ceases to amaze me, in the coffee shop, in the airport, waiting for the streetcar, last night in the women's washroom, at dinner with strangers that became new friends, that each person has a story that we have the opportunity to learn from if we would just stop and step outside of ourselves, quiet our minds and worries and troubles and askeach other what we have to share.

Give. I'd like to get better at giving. I give money. Christians call it tithing. It's a convenient way to feel like you're doing something, maybe try it as a starter if you're feeling self-centred. I used to feel a little paralyzed when I "didn't" have money [though, when you start to give it away, you realize that your precious pennies and dimes will come your way] that I didn't have anything to give, but au contraire, we are all huge, vast vats of talent and resources, Time being something we all have, and, as we give it away, I have learned, that you become more responsible with the time you do have to yourself. I would like to make it hurt a little bit more, have my giving be a little more uncomfortable, a little more sacrifice, a little more of myself.

Beauty full. And there is beauty in everything, there is a gift in it all. I hate those nights that I go to bed and realize I didn't slow down long enough to appreciate all that is around us; the old couple on the streetcar enjoying having one another beside each other. The comradory of the men in the coffee shop. The father asking his daughter questions. Dancing in the kitchen. Friends listening to friends. The way the sun comes out just when you really need it to. I hope to get better at asking, "what is the gift here? Where is the beauty in this? What can I be thankful for?"

So. I have a lot to take on, a lot to stick to, and it all feels bright.

Posted on January 9, 2010 and filed under from jess-.