“To simply wake up every morning a better person than when I went to bed.”
This, my 50th year of life, so far has been quite a trip.
It began in a celebratory fashion when my sister and mother arrived in the beautiful city of Ottawa that I currently inhabit to help me ring in this milestone in style. It was so special having them here in probably the most reviled winter month of the year, showing me a great time. I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, but on January 11 this year, I made a birthday resolution for my life going forward. I simply named it “Bettering”.
Spring was all about cutting away the dead wood. Releasing old pain that was alive and well at a cellular level. Identifying situations and people that I had allowed to dwell in my blind spots; feeding into a lifelong struggle with feelings of abandonment and betrayal. I lit up those dark corners with the light of fire; and burned that shit to the ground. Threw a match over my shoulder and kept walking forward without looking back. This led me to turning inward. Reflecting. Cleansing. Purging. Healing parts of me that had been fragile and broken for a long-ass time.
On the heels of spring, came knee surgery #3. It was uncomfortable. It was hard work. It was emotional labour. But I was focused on a fully successful rehab and recovery. I did it on my own, Brooklyn style, where I originally learned to go down three flights of stairs on my ass while balancing crutches on the way down so that I could get bags of ice for elevation. The fighter in me that was birthed in Brooklyn came out swinging again during this time; and the vulnerable part of me accepted that it was okay to be forced into self-care.
All of a sudden, it seemed, I was navigating full on summer and a heat wave of epic proportions in an older south facing apartment without a/c. And my beloved cat, Halloween fell ill. It was a stressful time after an employment layoff, huge vet bills and zero financial support, so I reached out to others for help. I was so humbled and grateful for the unwavering supportive response from people who dropped everything to help. The surgery went well and even though the road ahead will not be smooth, he’s here with me and although now completely deaf, is as loving and playful as ever.
Fast forward to late August: new job, new creative pursuits, new lease on life, increased level of physical and emotional well-being. Topped off by the trip of a lifetime to New Orleans for a conference. I was there for personal work, but the play time was exceptional. There is magic in that city and I can’t wait to go back someday. I’ll never forgot those NOLA nights strolling the heart and soul of the city; soaking up the music and atmosphere. I have not felt such a complete sense of belonging since my days living in NY.
And now it is October. Autumn is my favourite time of year, for so many reasons. It is my true new year marker. The time for new beginnings. Letting go. Welcoming in. Looking ahead. Diving in.
As the sun gradually sets on this, my 50th year, I remember and honour my commitment to Bettering. The aim to wake up every day a better person than when I went to bed. Its been a year of focusing on health, restructuring, commitment, motivation, evolution. I look in the mirror and do not recognize myself in comparison to the version of me last year. I’m doing the work, and I will not stop. It is a never ending process of becoming.
My heart is open. My vision is expanded. My commitment to bettering is unshakeable.