Looking back

Commitment was my word for 2014.

In general, it was a word that served as an umbrella for multiple themes and intentions: family, health, spirituality, and movement to name the foremost categories.

What specifically I was committing myself to within each area morphed as my year did— as I did. I enjoyed having a word for my year, and having fluid guiding questions to move with me…What do I need to commit to in this season? What does commitment look like for me?

Some categories changed entirely. I moved from a commitment to health that meant figuring out lingering medical concerns, to one that entailed embracing yoga as having physical purpose and value.

One category popped up in the midst of my year when I realized that my commitment to self is often most needed and deprived.

Other categories were neglected, or their potentials not yet realized, with a broken heart stubbornly refusing to mend on my prescribed timeline.

As I’ve been approaching this day— this conclusion of the year and with it my intention— I’ve not been kind to myself (forgetting perhaps, my commitment to grace set just months before). Things I’m still working on somehow became ticks against me as if growth is linear and can be plotted twelve-months prior.

Yet, in reflecting now, I think the misstep is in my framing of an intention. I use this word not as a synonym for goals or resolutions, but rather a distinction. To say that I am a person in-process. To say I want to act and be mindfully in this world. Moving toward things, yes. Achieving them, sometimes. But knowing that that is so not the point.

Remembering it’s about creating more than accomplishing.

And that creativity requires fluidity; agency, freedom.

So my self-destructive stories about not being far enough along in this category or that one reflect a deeper need. They point to a misconception of what it is to be human, hinting at a perfectionism not yet unlearned. Begging me to reorient myself to process and remember that I cannot set an expiration date on an emotional place or experience.

I’m breaking this pattern of holding unrealized growth against myself, and I’m wondering how it might inform my intention for the coming year. That’s tomorrow’s question, though.

For today, I’m celebrating the commitments I made and unmade, created and abandoned. I’m celebrating 2014 for all that it held— the fulfillment and despair, the profound community and tormenting loneliness, a resolved clarity and complete unknowing.

Here’s to the year and to me, in the twisting and turning process that it/I was/am.


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