Last night I went to dinner with a friend, and we started talking about how there's a mixture of anxiety and celebration that surrounds New Years. It's interesting because it's always this time of year that almost forces people to evaluate where they are in life. We went on to discuss intentions, goals, and how to be more mindful in 2018; and, most importantly how to make sure that we keep checking in with ourselves to see how we've progressed. Reflecting on this past year, which I briefly did on my 2017 highlights (here), I wanted to dig a little bit deeper after having two discussions, first with Pete and Natalie on our car ride back from Vermont and then again with Mike last night, revolving around the different aspects of my life, and my friends' lives: health, mindfulness, environmental impact, and setting intentions.
I think about where I was a year ago, sitting in the Ponderosa with Pete doubting everything I was doing. I was so close to turning it all around and moving back East. I was extremely uncomfortable in my situation because there was so much new that I had never experienced before. At that point, I knew I needed clarity in what it was that I wanted to do. So, I started writing. And, here I am 64 blog posts later. Per both my discussions with Pete, Natalie and Mike, it's so essential to feel that sense of being uncomfortable in order to shed light on new goals, opportunities, and experience to add more life into your life.
Think of it this way, when you go on a black or a double black diamond for the first time-- You look down at the steepness, and feel trepidation. Or, at least most people do at first. You see moguls, or ice patches. You take a big leap of faith and start making those turns. One turn at a time. Soon enough, you find yourself at the bottom and look up at the trail you just went down. First reaction: You probably start screaming "WOOOOO!" because you made it down. Now think about how that happens in life. There are so many unforeseen moguls, ice patches, other skiers or boarders that cut you off, but you make your way through those challenges by taking it one day at a time (one turn at a time), and living in the now. By the end of it you look back so incredibly proud of yourself because you grew as a person, and now you have a double black diamond under your belt. It's a blessing to meet challenges because you are able to give yourself the gift of creating your next goal.
I met my doubts and fears, and ended up finding what I love to do most: photography, and writing. Through those moments of being uncomfortable I found that the more open, vulnerable and authentic I was about everything I was experiencing, the more I connected with people from all different walks of life, and some who are new to my life. I think about where I was this time last year in the Ponderosa, and how far I've come in changing my physical and mental well-being. I am so humbled by the people I have met, and the lessons I have learned this past year. I hope I look back another year from now equally as proud and humbled as I am right now. 2018, I'm ready for my next double black diamond.