On Starting Over

Over the last few days I’ve been really ruminating on the idea of newness. Beginning again. Starting over. Learning. Observing. Trying to approach things I’ve experienced before as if I’m doing so for the first time. Currently that’s come in the shape of me taking yoga classes that I’ve either never been to before or haven’t been to in years, and seeing what comes up. Fear, unease, apprehension, anxiety. It’s been a practice in releasing the urge to control, or the need to know What’s Coming Next. And of course, it’s been hard. I didn’t recognize how comfortable I had gotten in my routine, knowing that each yoga class I attended would be “different” but I’d still kinnnnnnda know what to expect—even down to being able to successfully guess about how long I’d have to hold each pose. There was enough variation to make me feel good about myself without actually disturbing my comfort zone.

But this…. This has been different. Nothing says “getting out of your comfort zone” like going into a yoga class blind. Not only did I grossly underestimate my need to know what’s coming next, but I also did not realize how judgy I’d gotten about other classes. I was writing off lower level, or slower paced sessions because I thought my practice was “too advanced” for them. Or that if I didn’t feel completely physically spent after a yoga class, it was a waste of time. I know— so rude, not at all what yoga is about, and that level of pride looks good on no one. But it has been good and humbling to go back to the beginning and observe. To let the slower pace of a class give me the opportunity to really listen and pay attention to the movement of my body. And not only that, but to bring up emotions that maybe would not have had space to arise in more “advanced” classes.

Off the mat, the intention has been the same. I’m trying to enter 2017 with a gentle, open handed, and observant posture. Even with things that are more familiar to me than yoga, like my faith. What would happen if I let everything I thought I knew about God fall away, and I let him tell me his story again? What if I released my own ideas of where I would be by now, or who I would be by now, and I observed What Is without judgment?

I think every once in a while it’s helpful to remind ourselves that we don’t know everything. Or maybe even anything. And remember to approach even the things and people we think we know like the backs of our hands with reverence and curiosity. I swear you can learn any thing from any one at any time. And literally every year, every day, every moment gives us a chance to start over.

The Home Stretch

I saw this tweet the other day that said 2016 was wild because it drastically changed everyone who lived through it— that when we all look back to who we were a year ago, it seems like we can barely recognize ourselves. I read it and I was like, dang I think this random person on the Internet is right! At the very least I can see and/or sense that people around me have undergone dramatic transformations in their lives this year.

Y’all already know I did— I have been VERY CLEAR about my 2016. I say all the time that I feel like I grew five years in this last one. When I look back on who/where I was last year, the things I thought, even how I chose to spend my New Year’s Eve, that girl feels so far away. She feels really young and blissfully ignorant. Not to insinuate that I’m like, totally awake and alert to everything happening inside/outside of me now— that’s an ongoing process. But struggling through a broken heart, learning you have trauma, and starting the process of healing through EMDR will wake you the FUCK up to some shit, let me tell you.

While I have very…VERY few nice things to say about 2016…

I feel like I must say that it’s kind of cool that everyone in the world has felt marked by it. 2016 knocked us all off our asses— maybe in a shitty way by stripping us of pieces of ourselves that we thought formed core parts of our identity, or by devastating us through one the excessive iconic deaths that happened this year (RIP Bowie, Fisher, Michael, Rickman, Ali, Thicke, Prince, Lee, Reynolds, Wilder, etc.) Or maybe you’re one of the six people globally whom 2016 affected in a good way, by making space in your life for a dream career, new life partner, or the prospect of welcoming a new baby. In either case, 2016 made her fucking POINT. And now hopefully we get to send her off into the Abyss with dear friends, merriment, and a SHIT TON of champagne.

Here’s to 2017 y’all! And the incredibly low bar 2016’s set for its greatness! Cheers!

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Oh and below I’ll show you more of my Christmas presents* because I promised I’d tell you what I got. Thanks to my beautiful friend Delara for snapping the pics!

*Note: “Christmas presents” denote any fun item bought for me either by myself or someone else between November 15 and December 25, 2016. I didn’t actually get any of this shit on Christmas.

First ‘fit 
Skirt: Topshop | Necklace: Forever 21 | Lipstick: “Too Faced”, Sephora

Second ‘fit:
Jacket: All Saints | Shoes: Steve Madden | Earrings: China, like the actual country