Thank you 2018!
The Gratitude Post
As we ring in the New Year and the first New Moon of this solar cycle approaches (Sunday 6th January, New Moon in Capricorn), we get ready for the oh-so-crucial intention setting. I, also, have taken some time to reflect. But first, I wanted to say thank you. Thank you 2018.
The Selective Memory
Do you ever look back on one of your past relationships and all you can remember are the ‘bad’ (or ‘good’) things? What people said or did to you, how they made you feel? Because at the end of the day, that’s what it comes down to: our feelings. We remember how someone, something, a situation or chain of events made us feel. This is certainly my case anyway. And as time passes, memories start to fizzle and I hold on to the most ‘memorable’ ones, and the strong feelings they gave rise to. Yet when those are one-sided (either all good, or all bad) we risk falling into the trap of judgment and labeling. It’s funny how memory works. “Urgh, this time of my life was terrible”. “Urgh, this guy was the worst.” “Urgh, I hated my job back then.”
The truth is, a situation or relationship is rarely ALL bad. There’s almost always something good that came from it, a lesson I learned. Most importantly, all those people, situations, chain of events, as challenging as they were at the time, ALL contributed to who I am today. As I sway back and forth with the tides of self-love, I have to embrace all of those tough times and people and feelings of the past year. This bring tears to my eyes because it wasn’t easy, and my stomach still recalls the paralysing fear I would somehow ‘fail’, lose everything, not make it until the next month, give it all up. This brings tears to my eyes also because I am here today writing again and I am proud of myself – with yet another knot to my stomach but able to keep going and try again, and again.
I’ve accepted it can never be perfect since perfection is merely a perception and perceptions cannot be controlled. More importantly, I care more about being comfortable, happy, and straight up head over heels with who I truly am, than perceived as ‘perfect’(this would be my perception of others’ perception and therefore very much uncontrollable and most likely inexact), or ‘this’, or ‘that’, or like I have it ‘all together’ (a personal favourite). It’s sooo hard, and my stomach squeezes even tighter, but trust me when I say that that’s the way I want it to be. That’s what courage feels like for me. Being me, just me, only me, for all to see and judge, including myself, including my family, including my friends, and literally everyone I love and/or don’t want to hurt or disappoint.
The Not-So-Easy Way Out
I know it’s hard, oh how well I know it. Just now, I was tempted to let myself get full on distracted and move on with my day. I walked to the fridge, I Whatsapped some friends, and checked social media, I cuddled the cat, I Whatsapped some more, I scrolled endlessly through my news feed… You get the point. As I tell myself NON and sit in front of my computer again, the knot is back.
It’s not easy to be authentic, but my experience with courage reminds me how fucking great I’m going to feel when this is done and posted. And I’m having a good enough day today to remember that, and to refuse that this ends up in my folder of never-finished-and-super-personal blog posts. So if you’re reading this, it’s not too late to choose courage too. In fact, it’s never too late since every day is a new day. Every hour and every minute is too (you get the drill), and we can be whoever we want to be at that moment, regardless of all the old stories we’ve been feeding ourselves and for how long.
The Important Stuff
The gratitude is coming, I promise. I didn’t want to drop some lovey-dovey-life-is-wonderful list on you because, well, it’s not that simple. It took a lot of self-awareness, tough times and reflection for me to get here. A lot of us struggle with self-depreciation, fear of not being XXX enough, fear of failure, fear of success, anxiety, procrastination, and more. That’s OK. That’s why it’s so important to also take the time to be grateful.
So here it is, in no particular order
I am so grateful for 2018 and for being here to be able to thank:
- old friends who stuck by me on my journey to self-discovery regardless of how broke/late/grumpy I was
- old friends who didn’t and taught me that sometimes it is best to let go
- new friends I made along the way, some for a few days, some for life. I am so grateful for the energy you give me at times, all the support, laughter, challenges. Those who were brave enough to ask for help and those who reflected so much of me back to myself, leading to some interesting realisation.
- my gorgeous brand Bloem & Moi for evolving with me and sticking with me even in the doubtful moments
- anyone who ever had a supportive word for me. You don’t know how warm it can feel on the days I can’t manage to do that for myself.
- my volunteering buddies and the refugee children we have the immense honour of working with. You make me believe that together we actually can change the world.
- all the kitties and other animals I’ve encountered and who bring such love into my life, even if for a brief moment on a grey Amsterdam day. You remind me that we have to change the world.
- my family for supporting me somehow no matter what I do. Despite the arguments and sometimes slightly insensitive comments, I always know.
- my love B. for always being there for me and making me laugh and being silly, and most importantly for not trying to change me or running away from me every time I cry (that would be a lot of running hihi)
- me for being courageous enough to launch this blog. For sticking with life as I now know it despite the ups, the downs, the fear I need to “get my life together” somehow. For embracing who I am with the many, many tears. For letting others see those too. For caring so much. For letting go a little bit and trying every day to surrender even more to the flow of life. For setting new boundaries no matter how hard it was, or how bitchy I felt at times. For picking myself up after weeks of anxiety and being idle. For letting go of the idea that I have to have a certain job, status, pair of heels to be a respectable business woman. For accepting that I am exactly where I am supposed to be in this moment, that I am enough. For taking the time to do one thing at the time (sometimes). For getting up in the morning (most of the time). Thank you me.
- all the riches that did make their way to me in 2018
- and those who didn’t. You pushed me to be even more creative and to find new ways to handle the fear.
- Amsterdam, gorgeous and magical, for turning each bike ride into an adventure and allowing me to live the life I do today.
Thank you 2018, for you I am so grateful.
Much love, A.M.P xxx
PS. Feel like sharing, too? Comment below and let us know what you would like to thank 2018 for. Want something a bit more private? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org