2019: Taking Life Inventory
For the past few Decembers, I’ve wondered if before social media people were quite so reflective on the days leading up to the new year. Not that taking a moment for life inventory is a bad thing –– it’s rather nice –– but seeing other people do a roundup of the year’s highlights does give cause for pause in your own world. And, of course, an impetus to share whatever you find in your mind, heart and iPhone camera roll –– usually just the good, or slightly more candid but still good, stuff. It’s always interesting to see how we choose to express our annual end of year reflections evolve with the platforms on which we’re sharing. This year, Top 9s are still a thing, but not as much. People are way more into doing a carousel of their top ten pics, or loading up old stories from the archives for a literal slideshow revival, complete with commentary. A digital throwback to the slideshow parties our grandparents used to host.
Ok, I’ll bite.
I don’t think I have the energy to go through all my photos because it’s the one place where I never clean house, and nor do I really feel like reliving or sharing the greatest hits from the last year, even though there were plenty. It was a hard year overall, which if you’re an optimist like me, translates in growth (albeit begrudgingly). It’s weird because I don’t feel like my life is that much different than when I woke up on New Year’s Day 2018, despite how much has happened.
I’ve started two different new jobs, had eye surgery, traveled to four countries, starting teaching, saw a naturopath for the first time, quit and restarted therapy, agreed to do the heavy lifting of supporting my husband and I financially, learned A LOT about how my body works and how to make sure it doesn’t feel like shit, cut off my hair, decided to seriously try to get pregnant (AKA spend a lot of time with my reproductive endocrinologist because apparently, babies are hard to make and no one likes to talk about it), realized my silly weekend job selling makeup was actually critical to my mental health, and entered an insane camping bet with my husband.
If I’m being honest, for the most part, 2018 left me distracted and depleted at every turn. There was little room for creativity, and while growth was tremendous I’m sure, it was (and still is) a slow ass slog.
For the past year, my horoscope repeatedly tried to tell me something about making more space for health, and I was always like, DUDE, please stop telling me to work out. Talk to me about making more money or getting famous. Ignoring the *stars* and physical warning signs led to my health actually collapsing on top of itself, right when I was started a new job where I kind of needed all my faculties. At the height of feeling particularly acute, a terrible astrologer told me my chart was in a rough spot and would remain as such until fall of 2019, and my tarot reader who, instead of explaining that my fortune was turning around, indicated that I was in a pretty serious transition that would not pass quickly. UGH. OK. FINE. I GUESS…
The tarot reading also showed that I needed to find my support systems during this time. And, a couple weeks later, my therapist literally asked, “Who is your support network?”
GUYS. I GET IT. SERIOUSLY. I’M GOING THROUGH A THING.
I realized, in all of this, that taking life inventory doesn’t need to just happen at the end of the year. It’s not only about recapping highlights, most played songs (I’m so sorry I wore the hell out of the Call Me By Your Name soundtrack because…feelings), and inside jokes like a middle school yearbook message, and nor is it eschewing the whole year as a total fucking mess to be shoved under the rug and forgotten. I don’t feel different today than I did a year ago because, though so much has happened, change is slow and when you’re in the thick of it, it’s hard to see anything but what’s right in front of you until you look back at how far you’ve come.
2018 was hard. 2019 might be hard too. Every year is probably going to feel pretty up and down because that’s life and no one said adulthood was easy. In fact, literally, everyone told us it was a real shit storm. But, they also said it’s worth the hike to get those Top 9 moments.
Looking toward 2019, I know I need to meditate, journal, floss, read, travel, relax, exercise, and call my parents more, but I think the real resolutions are bigger than something I could ever possibly post on Instagram. I’m going to focus on continually finding lessons in discomfort, reevaluating what truly serves me as I am now, following my instincts even if they’re risky, and being gentle with whatever processes are happening that I can’t see at any given moment.
My Gemini sun sign makes me impatient; it propels me a mile a minute in multiple directions. At the same time, my Virgo moon brings ultra-critical thoughts and a need for achievement and order. Instead of spending the year keeping wild or difficult parts of my nature in check, I want to explore ways to let them loose to do their best work together, as opposing as they might seem. Oh, and being cool with it when I inevitably struggle with this tall order I’ve given myself.
No one is perfect. Resolutions are nice. Time is a construct humans invented. Life is usually pretty mundane.
But, it’s nice to start over, even when you’re still in the middle.