Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Letting go

As this year draws to a close, I look back on it with pure amazement. It has entailed a lot of letting go, which is good. Hard, but good. It seems the ultimate goal in this life is to be able to detach ourselves from the expectations of things being a certain way; letting go and finding the joy in each moment despite the suffering that is also always there. Life is fluid; always changing. 2011 has held plenty of opportunity in the 'letting go' department, and it doesn't seem to be waning. While I do hope this next year isn't quite as intense on my heart, I expect letting go to be a lesson that visits me throughout my life.

This past year started with the release of my marriage. We had been respectful, good partners to each other who unfortunately never had what it takes to thrive....shared passion. While the dissolution of our family unit was sad for us all, it has been validating that we made the right move. It was a long time coming, so to finally walk through that fire has been healing for the both of us. I have faith that good things will come in to replace that which I release. I'm not sure what state I would be in now if it weren't for that faith.

Our spring was hard. The boys were missing their dad being here with us, I was battling all sorts of feelings about his rapid jumping into another relationship; feelings surrounding how I felt about it and how it was affecting my kids. I was deciding whether or not I would relocate back to MN to be near family, and it was such a relief to be done with school in June and hit the road.

After my separation, I started to become re inspired by things I had let go of for the sake of practicality and compromise. I was able to travel to Zimbabwe, a land long ago laid on my heart. This experience was all I had hoped for and opened me up to what is possible for me. It was the first time I had left my kids for more than a couple days. They did fine between their father and grandparents and it was good for me to be independent of them....something that until this year was so rare. Since becoming a mother at 20, I heavily identified myself as that, which is great, except I forgot that I was more. Looking to my future, I know I must be careful to balance that mothering piece as I plan to return to school, travel, and potentially relocate.

The fall found us back in Colorado, after a summer of traveling adventures. I started another school year teaching preschool and my kids are with their same classes. We have found healing in our new family dynamic and are making due with a financial crisis that struck with their dad losing his job in July. There are many unknowns for us and I continue to focus on what opportunities may arise out of these losses.

Finding myself back in the dating world has been fun and exciting and disappointing and depressing. Ha! Sounds about right, yes? I didn't date at all, really, before I met my husband at 19, so it's all new to me. At 31, I have more of a  handle on who I am, only now I come with two kids and somewhat unstable circumstances! My love life has been so limited, so I have welcomed these few new experiences with the hope that it won't take me many before finding someone I can grow together with. I have already had some heartache and questioning of myself, but with matters of love I believe that is somewhat unavoidable. Yes, more lessons in letting go, some easier than others.

This next year approaches with plans to keep taking classes, teaching dance, collaborating with other local entertainers to put on a kids for kids fundraiser for Zimbabwe, going back to Zimbabwe over the summer, and hopes that I can go back to school full time next fall. I have to realize, though, that these are just my plans and I must continue to let go of what doesn't work, find the lessons in it, and keep moving forward.

So many changes are on my horizon. So much letting go that still needs to happen and I know it isn't, and won't be, easy, but will reap great rewards and not take from the value of what was. I leave you with this lovely quote and many blessings for a bright new year!

There's a trick to the Graceful Exit.
It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage,
a relationship is over - and to let go.
It means leaving what's over without denying its value.
- Ellen Goodman

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