Today is the last day of this year, 2008. I have spent some time, looking back on the days, weeks, and months that are passing into my personal history, perhaps better labeled herstory. This has been an incredible year, an extremely good one. Looking back on it has been a mostly satisfying pleasure. My life has changed, and I have changed with it. Challenges met and overcome, dreams fulfilled, and new avenues of experience risked and met with success.
I started the year in a sort of fog, settling down in front of the TV with an unconscious, but strong inner urge to become just another couch potato. If I wasn’t watching the boob tube, I was reading yet another murder mystery, completely oblivious to the fact that I was well into committing my own form of soul murder. I wasn’t writing at all, the pen and its demands had been given up for activities that were far less demanding of any thought, let alone process.
Then came American Idol and David Cook. Bless you David. I know that you don’t know me, don’t have a clue what you did for me, but I will always be grateful, none the less. You got me up and out of that overstuffed rocking chair and back on the page. Back inside this thing I really love to do, and am quite good at. But, and this might be the most important part, I was back in a very new and different way. Awakenings are wonderful things, or can be, if we allow them.
Then the doctor diagnosed the beginnings of diabetes. What a shock that was, even though I knew that I was an excellent candidate because my father had had it and my oldest daughter has it as well. New regimens: diet, and daily blood sugar counts. Although I don’t enjoy poking myself everyday, I have done it, without fail and reaped many rewards. A new awareness of my own physical reality, a weight loss that continues and has allowed me to drop five sizes in my clothing, and a much deeper respect for my own ability to follow through and stick with it, staying inside the present moment.
I started counseling and have found it to be very satisfying as well. Letting someone else see my emotional well-being, or lack of it, has given me new perspectives on most of what has happened over the past year, as I’ve listened to an objective voice that is constant in its support and ongoing encouragement, a voice that often asks those questions I don’t even consider, or see, as important.
I began blogging in June. All new territory and one that led me here, to this site, and a deep committment to continue to explore my own personal space while encouraging others to do the same. And one that also led me back to my first love: poetry. I have written well over sixty prose articles on this site, but have also written a great deal of new poetry, exploring and finding new ways of expressing myself. Allowing myself to be prompted and challenged in several different directions.
That, in turn, has also led to the establishment of another new blog:
http://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/ which will be centered around my poetry and the music that feeds me. I will post there for the first time, tomorrow, on the first day of the New Year. My first post will be titled A Woman of Color, and inadvertentlycelebrates yet another new endeavor I have stumbled into. Coloring. Laying down colors and watching the patterns come alive beneath my fingers. It is closely associated with laying down words and watching the patterns come alive with meaning and awareness. I would hope that you come and take a look and drop a comment or two.
Along with all these new disciplines and activities which constantly challenge me, I have recovered a number of old friendships and deepened each of them, so that they feel new, but also have the comfort and strength of familiarity. Each one has meant a deeper commitment to my own life and has afforded me the opportunity to re-establish this person I call Elizabeth, that one who was getting lost in that overstuffed rocking chair in my living room (I haven’t watched more than a few hours (maybe four or five total) of TV in the past three months, and have read only two and a half books in that same time period).
I have also had the pleasure of creating several new friendships, here online. Meeting diverse new individuals and finding common ground is exciting and challenges me in other and different ways. I have been able to teach, encourage, and to learn, all at the same time, and with the ease of doing so from my own comfortable little space called home.
All in all, this has been a year of awakenings on many levels. It has led me here, to the beginning of a New Year that is filled with the brightness of hope and even more opportunities to learn and to experience. I was recently prompted to write about daring to dream, and found that I couldn’t, didn’t seem to have a feel for the topic and came up blank with no more than fading dribbles that went nowhere. Maybe, because so many of my personal dreams have found fulfillment in this past year, and the very real fact that I am now living inside of those dreams. They are my reality, continuing to feed and nurture even more of the same and bringing them to fruition. There is no daring involved, there is only new and deeper life and meaning.