As I look back on 2011, I understand why beginning a new year can be intense.
It involves saying goodbye.
To think both about the man who didn’t share my sentiments and the loss of someone close to my heart is painful. There have been ups and downs, laughter and tears, but most importantly, the spaces you find yourself in that eventually make you say, “I am truly blessed.”
I remember when the clock struck midnight and 2011 arrived. I remember the amazing people I was with (all whom have become my new-founded family), the feeling of waking up to see the sunrise and cuddle puddles on the floor until the late afternoon.
In a magic instant, I knew the year would be different because it already was.
As 2011 continued forth, so much began to spark unexpectedly. I found myself sickened by a crush…oh yes, it was sickening. Each time I’d see him, my stomach would do flip flops, and to my mortification, I’d shake like a leaf during a rainstorm.
It reminded me of the first time the cute boy from English class greeted me on the way to my locker in high school.
Do you remember what that felt like?
Well, for a woman approaching 30, it was pretty pitiful (in an endearing sort of way). In the beginning, I barely knew him, but with each passing exchange, it became clear why I was drawn to him. There was a beautiful familiarity; I could really see him and it was as if I had known him for a very long time.
Then, like an arrow through the heart, my dear aunt Mildred passed away, and with her loss came the shifts no one could ever foresee. I was broken.
In time, amid all the sorrow, came a realization that life is to be lived, fearlessly and without apologies. So I bought a ticket to San Francisco and ended up falling in love with the west coast.
When I returned, an opportunity to join my family of kindred spirits on a road trip presented itself—and I took it with the eagerness of a bird learning how to fly.
Ah, 2011 has been, like my friend Erica would say, whoa! It contains joy and memories that we sometimes wish weren’t etched in our minds. Not to mention experiences that perhaps made us fall apart, only to show how resilient, strong and incredibly great we are.
This year, I didn’t end up with the man of my dreams, but I discovered that someone could still make me feel like a kid again. I also learned how the sadness from loss can make one surprisingly feel alive, like how my cousin now feels after welcoming his daughter into the world. Yes, it’s utterly frightening and exhilarating at the same. But that’s what the unknown is supposed to arouse in us.
May you let go of the old and welcome in the new with the openness to accept everything that comes along and the strength to see it through.
And last but not least, to live fearlessly and without apologies.
Farewell 2011. Thanks for Everything!
Dedicated to the memory of the most fearless woman I have even known, my aunt Mildred Vasquez.
Virginia Vasquez is a certified meditation instructor, energy healer, writer and artist based in New York City. She enjoys exploring the symbolism that reveals itself throughout our daily lives and inspires us to live authentically. She is also an advocate for freedom of expression, creative or otherwise.
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