My word for 2022 has been “grounded”, the tagline, “root to rise”. And while, it has been a wildly different grounding to what I had imagined it would be at the end of 2021, Grounded, it certainly has been. I have done 3 different multi-day hikes (2 with my beautiful Mum in Europe), I have traded in my floating office for a land-based one, I am living in an apartment and I have a full-time shore-based job. The vision board that I set up at the beginning of the year has been completely met, bar meeting the love of my life. However, maybe meeting the love of my life has been replaced with falling in love with who I am. Without sounding like the cliche I might be becoming, I am 100% falling more and more in love with myself every day.
I mean the true, unconditional love, where I am learning to accept and love the parts of myself that I have been fighting so hard to change or hide from for most of my life. I have been diving headfirst into the essence of who I am this year with a wild sense of curiosity. Embracing every good and bad situation as a mirror of myself and the journey I am supposed to be embarking on. Accepting that every discomfort has the opportunity to present me with growth. And the difficulties I see in other people/situations are merely a reflection of something I am seeing within myself.
I have moved to a foreign country. I am living in a tiny town, where nobody speaks English. I am alone. And at times lonely. But I am 86.75% content. I miss my loved ones, which makes up 12% of that balance and then the rest is the discomfort I battle with daily, and always have, with my body issues. At the age of 35, I had hoped that I would be freed from the shackles of body dysmorphia, but of all the challenges I have faced, it seems to be the hardest one to kick. I can understand where it comes from, however, the conditioning and mindset of it is deeply ingrained. I believe it even goes back intergenerationally and therefore in naming it and working with it, I am slowly learning to tame it. Perhaps I won’t be completely rid of it in my lifetime, but hopefully, the future generations after me will have a lesser degree of it.
I am thriving in my job. It is hard. I am challenged and stretched on a daily basis, but my mind is stimulated and I am growing. The time for me now has been to find my voice, it has been to learn how to speak up for myself and others around me. The time for me now is to take all I have learnt and throw it into this project and apply it with confidence. I am so grateful for the team of heads of department I find myself working with. They are all incredible people and worker bees in their own right, I am learning something from each of them daily. We have an incredible leader, that is showing us in his actions how to be better and do better. He is showing us that good leaders can be kind leaders.
Financially, I have come to realize that Prince Charming is not coming to save me. That I am not going to move into his castle and be waited on by his animated, singing mice and be comforted by his wealth. This realization came to me this year, that while I have always been financially independent, I have subconsciously, always held onto this belief, that a male will sweep in and take over the financial responsibility of our shared lives. And so in the latter part of this year, I decided to take the financial bull by the horns, pull up my big girl panties, and become more financially responsible myself. I made some big investment decisions and have put some strong boundaries into place regarding my rather fluid past budgeting systems. And for this, I am very proud.
Where I was hoping to be grounded in romantic love, 2022 has not even had a glimpse of hope for me in this department. It has been the least romantic year I have ever had. And yet, strangely also the least attached to finding it I have ever been. And perhaps the two go hand in hand. Something in me shifted this year and the acceptance of what will be , became a lived experience rather than a defense mechanism. I have realized that my heart has had some mending to do, after some breaks, the wounds were still a little raw. However, I also feel ready to love and be loved. I have a lot of love I want to share with the right person. And I still believe in that.
I have an army of strong and beautiful friendships, across men and women, ages and continents. I am so blessed by the people I can trust and truly call friends. They are relationships that have developed over the years and that provide me with a huge amount of stability in my life. I feel loved and heard, even though the lack of their physical contact/time affects me, I know they are always there. And there is nothing more important than that.
As with so many people, the fatigue in my physical body has been real. It has been a year of battling against a constant state of fatigue, unable to get into a regular and strong exercise routine without getting wiped out by a deep fatigue washing over my body. What it is and how to resolve it is still elusive to me. However, it has forced me to listen to my body, pay attention to the amount of rest I get, and to start diving into some amazing research around my longevity and health. I am paying attention to breathwork, I have changed my eating in a very considered way and meditation has become a HUGE part of my life. More than exercise, I prioritize meditation. This, currently, works for ME.
And when I think back on the gifts of 2022, it will be the friendships and the relationships that have grounded me the most. The gift of meeting new people, treasuring old friendships, and cementing the value of what it means to truly be in relationship with those people. I believe so deeply in the work that relationships take, I believe that with light-handed commitment to them, you can forge the most beautiful spaces for people to feel safe and held. And 2022 has shown me the true value of allowing people the space to be themselves, which in turn has given me permission to be more and more myself. I have such a kaleidoscope of different people in my life who play such different roles. The old version of me used to wash over them all with the same brush of expectation. And the beauty of 2022, has been the moments that have forced me to see the value they each bring to my life and allow that to flourish in its own light, the mirror they each hold up to me, showing me where my strengths and weaknesses are.
As I read over what I have written above about this year, I feel my growth, and I see the strength I have gained. And I want to find a way to keep bringing it back into a way to serve others. This is a question that I have grappled with this year. What is the purpose of all these lessons I have learned and how do I apply that to a wider question of purpose towards humanity and my community? Perhaps that is where next year is going. The word I am thinking of brings that element into it. This year has felt very “self” centered and my one wish for next year, is that I can take the lessons that I have learned and integrate those into wider collaboration.
But to wrap up, being grounded has felt good, and the tagline of “root to rise”, has felt real. I feel like I am growing taller and taller , I am rising into someone I am proud to be.
Keep happy and healthy,