My Sandpaper Year

Photo from  Emilian Robert Vicol via Flickr.

Photo from Emilian Robert Vicol via Flickr.

Reflecting on 2014, I imagine any number of the thoughts that have crossed my mind are likely the same ones that have occurred to other people about the last 12 months of life. I could have done a little more of this and a little less of that. I could have been a better friend/sister/daughter [fill in your superlative here]. Nostalgia always tends to abound this time of year.

As I reviewed the chronicle of my own experience, however, I realized something pretty profound. This was one of my sandpaper years.

My what now?

I know it’s an odd term, but let me explain. Everyone, whether they realize it or not, has years that shape them more than most. Years where some things about who you are as a person are buffed smooth, and other rougher spots you didn’t even realize existed, get exposed. It’s a year where not a lot seems easy, and you feel mostly like Sisyphus, continuously rolling a boulder uphill just to watch it slide down the other side and have to do it all over again. In short, a sandpaper year.

Photo from  Beth Scupham via Flickr.

Photo from Beth Scupham
via Flickr.

If I’m being honest, I’ve actually had a couple of back-to-back sandpaper years. Self-inflicted, unfortunately. Without getting too detailed, let’s just say I made an awful lot of big decisions that should have been better thought and prayed through, and I didn’t do much of either. I panicked when faced with my future and thought I knew what was best for myself, but lack of counsel proved otherwise, and, well, there you go.

And for the sake of continued honesty, I didn’t do a whole lot of living wide during that time either. Sure there were glimmers here and there, but mostly I defaulted. I cocooned in and braced myself for the hard knocks as much as I could, much like a boxer backed into a corner, just trying to survive the round.

But, here’s what’s important; I learned something.

I realized I am far stronger than I ever thought possible. More often than not, I was the only support system propping me up and that made me push forward. I also realized, being a strong individual isn’t nearly as strong as the supportive bond of connection and friendship. A person is never truly an island, and those that believe so are fooling themselves. And, I came to the conclusion that truly knowing what you want, in life, in your career, in love, in general, should never be denied. Why? Because you will always seek it. Conscious, unconscious, you will always seek it, and be dissatisfied and completely and utterly restless until you finally chase after it.

So here I am, crossing over the threshold of another new year and wondering what to do. One thing’s for sure, my priority list is much different than it ever has been, and that is going to make for an interesting 12-month adventure.

Happy 2015, everyone! After a few lost years, I have resolved to get back to living wide. How about you?

© 2015, admin. All rights reserved.

4 thoughts on “My Sandpaper Year

  1. As usual your articles are well written and thought provoking. Your words always provide new perspectives for me to reflect on my own self. That universal quality you have is what makes you so good at what you do…you are relatable my friend!

    I also had a sandpaper year…also self-inflicted. Moving half way across the country was was so fun and exciting (since much like you I am a born wanderer). But I was surprised when I realized that even this fiercely independent girl can be shaken when her roots are not strong. I have literally uprooted myself from my family and friends that have grounded me for years and it had quite an effect on me. I too have learned that I am no lone island and those roots are what has kept me so strong all these years so that I CAN be the fiercely independent woman that I am. This knowledge has made me more grateful to those in my root system…more than I have ever been before. Although I’m farther away now I would like to think I’m becoming (not quite there yet) a better aunt, sister, daughter, or friend because of these life lessons. And that is always a good thing!

    • Thank you for the kind words, Beth T. You are right, every tree needs strong roots below so that it’s branches can dance and play in the wind above. And yes, that is a very good thing. :)

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