As it is my birthday today, I feel the need to write (I know this will post about a month from now, but bear with me).
Since the last birthday, a lot has happened. I feel the need to reflect on all that has happened in that year and ponder on what could potentially happen a year from now and what I might be thinking on my next birthday. Call it sentimentality or something else, whatever it is, I'm going to go with it this one time, as I so seldom do nowadays (maybe it's just because I'm busy...or have had it ingrained in me that emotions are signs of weakness...whatever).
Last year on this date, I was lying in bed, sleeping in with my sister. We had just spent the night before partying out late with some of my newly made Helsinki friends and oddly, my real birthday was a national holiday. Something called Ascension Day. I'm guessing this is related to Jesus and his going back up to heaven. Anyway we spent the day relaxing, ate delicious nachos in bed and eventually met Canadian M for wine at a jazz club later that night after having the most awesome meal of baby reindeer heart I have ever had. Relaxing, slow-paced, and all around, really nice.
In the year between I made incredible friends with German K and Hong Kong P, traveled to more places than I can probably remember unless I really tried, fell for someone and had my heart broken...twice, decided to move on, literally, to another country (England), and am now living here in London. A lot has happened inbetween. I regret none of it. It has been the experience of a lifetime, crammed into a single year. I've learned more about myself than I ever thought possible. I've also ignored more about myself than I ever thought possible. I've pushed myself to physical limits I never thought could be broken. I've also worked harder, longer, and deeper than I ever planned or should have ever let myself. I've also never felt more appreciated for what I've done.
I said to Marc when I saw him last, that I had a feeling this year would be for the lessons. Last year was fun and adventure, this year was going to be about the lessons. The hard lessons. I have a feeling that that might not be 100% true. I think I will learn lessons, as I am constantly, but there might also be some fun in there too. I've already learned a lot about myself this past year, and I can't imagine closing myself enough to stop learning now that the learning has started.
So, here's the one thing that I'm promising myself for the next year to come: I'm going to be more open. One thing that I noticed with absolute certainty about myself during this past year is that I became hard. I became closed. Call it a side effect of the toughness of my job or a weird reaction to the necessary competitive professionalism my position required but I didn't like what I was becoming. So, I'm going to do what I can to reverse that. The process has already begun. Not everything is meant to be on the inside. Showing emotions isn't weak...it's human.
So that's my goal for my new year. To be open and less afraid. Who knows what this year is going to hold, I certainly didn't foresee half of the things I ended up doing last year. And since my mantra for 2013 is "Be true to yourself and the rest will follow," it only seems a natural one to add "Be more open."
So, happy birthday, tSH. All is going to be fantastic.