A Reflection on Growth and 2022

Published on February 23, 2023 in

Two months ago I spoke with a friend I hadn’t talked to in a while. She asked me how my year had been, and it took me some time to find the words.

To summarize:

2021 was like an explosion. My daughter was born at the end of 2020 and life as I knew it was gone. I spent most of the year in a state of shock and survival. I was disoriented, angry and confused about how something that I wanted so badly, for so long, could come with so much grief, disappointment, and resentment.

2022 was the year after the explosion, and like with any natural disaster it was the year I spent picking up the pieces. I wasn’t rebuilding anything yet; I didn’t have the energy. Instead, I was looking around at what was left, deciding what to keep and what to get rid of – and there was a lot of letting go: of friendships, ways of being, ways of working, expectations for my marriage, parts of my identity, and more. My nervous system slowly began to recalibrate. My priorities slowly came back into focus. Hope and optimism reappeared, slowly at first and then all at once.

2023 has finally been the year of the rebuild, and it’s been slow. To be honest, I don’t really know what I’m building yet. I’m still working on the foundation, and like with any building the foundation is critical. I finally know more of what I do want than what I don’t, and that has been pivotal.

I also have a sense that I haven’t seen an example of what I’m creating yet. Maybe it doesn’t exist yet, or maybe that’s just what my ego needs to hear to feel better about total surrender and potentially evolving my career path again. I don’t know.

I do know (now) that I can trust myself, and the process. Candidly, I remember this some days better than others. Some days I want to push harder and faster, and have it all make sense right now. I want answers, and I want to avoid the parts that are messy and uncomfortable. After all, I don’t even like it when the dishes in the sink are disorganized.

But then I look back and see that all of this DOES make sense. All of this is what I wanted; it’s just not unfolding in the way I imagined or planned. And then I remember that the last time I took a detour towards the unknown, it turned out even better than I could have imagined.

So keep going. Keep growing.

What you want wants you too.

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