2018: Open

In 2015, in lieu of New Year’s Resolutions, I started picking a word for the year. So far, my words have been:

It was the night of the winter solstice that my word for 2018 came to me. I’d been mulling over a lot of different words up to that point, and none of them seemed to fit. But as we were driving home from work, and I was staring at the moon, and I was thinking about the changes that the solstice brings, it just appeared to me:

  • 2018: Open 

When it came to me, this is the image I shared:

openquote1

With the following text: “For the past few years, in lieu of resolutions, I have picked a word – that word is my touch point, my motivator, my guiding light. Since about mid-November, I’ve been mulling over a few different words, but none felt *right*. So, three days ago, I gave up. I figured the word would find me when it was ready. I consider it a great blessing that it decided to find me tonight, on the Longest Night, when the sun stands still and we begin anew.”  

Granted, the fact that that next day I ended up with appendicitis and need to be literally opened up by a surgeon two days later…well, maybe the universe was trying to give me a different sign than I thought it was, but by that point, I’d already fallen in love with the word, so I decided to stick with it.

openquote2

The fact that the word open came to me the night before the start of one of my most stressful life events to date is actually fortuitous in many ways, the main one of which is this: I’m a worrier, and I hate the idea of change. 

I’ve come to discover I’m actually not terrible at accepting change once it happens, but the prospect of change for some reason completely and utterly freaks me out. It’s the staggeringly large amount of variables that I have absolutely no control over that sends me into a tizzy. The unknown. So, I tend to close myself off.

This is not, by any means, a character trait I am proud of, but it’s one I’ve shouldered for…um, well, ever? Ask all of my friends who have had to see me sob uncontrollably every time they move or we part for any extended period of time or I’m about to embark on some huge life change of my own (graduations, new jobs, etc.).

And here’s the thing I’ve learned: it rarely ever goes the way I think it will go, and it’s also rarely ever as bad or dramatic as I worry it will be. 

That’s why I think the word open came to me for 2018 (and the last tiny bit of 2017). Because I didn’t have any huge plans for the year. Because I didn’t have many moments planned out to look forward to (or to worry about) like I did the previous year. Because 2018 was staring at me like a giant empty canvas saying “Hey! Paint whatever you want!” and I stared back at it and my response was worry. And fear. And a crushing feeling of ineptitude, like I couldn’t possibly be up to the challenge of painting something worthy of that giant canvas.

And now, here we are: 37 days into the new year, and I have no idea what I’m “painting.” There are some brush strokes and some colors and some vague outlines starting to take shape. But it’s still fluid. Abstract. And I’m open to that. I’m beginning to worry less and letting the creativity – the openness – take the wheel.

Eyes. Mind. Heart. Arms.

Open. 

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