An Open Letter to 2012
I anxiously await all you have to offer. Your predecessors have been mostly kind and have come bearing many blessings and gifts. Yes, there have been tough times and I don’t even ask that you spare me from them this year. I had thought about asking for that, but I knew that it would set me up for disappointment and worse yet- it would also deprive me of the lessons those times bring.
You see, 2012, I’ve learned that less-than-great things DO happen and that they’re not happening TO me, they’re happening FOR me. And that’s a big difference. They’re going to happen because they are sharing a lesson or a hidden blessing. Something I need to know. Something I will learn best when it is accompanied with tears or maybe even some anger at the time. So don’t feel badly about them. I know they’re coming -I just want you to know, I’m ready.
In 2011, I said goodbye to some old friends, who -as it turns out- weren’t friends at all. Self-doubt, excessive guilt and people pleasing, to name a few. I began working with women more closely than ever in 2011 and have found that this is absolutely NOT uncommon. I don’t have the time to delve into all of the WHYs, so I shall skip ahead to the WHY NOTs:
Every woman I worked with this past year has been full of their own brand of creativity, energy, great ideas and OH so much potential. Aaaand almost every one of them have told me that they don’t see that. It’s frustrating to see greatness sitting idly on a shelf. It’s not doing anyone a bit of good up there. It must to be taken down, dusted off and used for the greater good. Even if that greater good is simply crossing it off your bucket list.
Maybe you can send them a little lesson to let them know that it’s ok to shine. We all have our WHY NOTs but this year instead of asking “why not ME?” -I hope they’ll ask “why NOT me?”
As for myself, this year I resolve to get it done. I’m going to do those things that have been sitting around taking up space in my heart and mind. It’s time.
In a couple of short months, 2012, you’ll have the distinct honor of helping me enter into my 4th decade of life. Be gentle with me. I have learned so much, but know there is so much more to learn. I hope it will arrive without any storms~but no matter what happens, I will not complain about growing older, as I know so many others (including a few people I hold dear) did not have that blessed chance.
This year I want to continue to be a giving person, but to learn to give in a ‘smarter’ way. This year, I want to learn to SHARE the things I have learned as opposed to GIVING them away. I admit I have a problem with confusing sharing and giving. But 2011 taught me this: If you’ve taken the time to learn something-and a lot of these lessons can be so painful- then you have earned the lesson. Feel free to share it with others. Sing it from the rooftops, in fact. But be sure you keep something for yourself.
2012, I’d like to propose a trade. If you have the time, could you try to share some of the things I have learned with those who might need it? And in exchange, I promise to listen to all of the lessons you bring to me as the days turn into weeks.
The things I wish to share are:
My new romance with the simple things.
The simple things have been courting me for awhile and just recently I decided to give in and give them a chance. Why did I wait so long to discover that every day has its own song? And sometimes it can simply be a gentle playful hymn as opposed to a grandiose symphony. What a blessing it is to be able to see the joy in the littlest of things.I admit that that lesson was learned with difficulty, but it’s here so I refuse to complain about it. I have found myself to be profoundly more happy when I began to notice the little robin that comes to visit me outside my window as I work during the day. A new flavor of coffee creamer. A softly falling leaf, a gentle snowfall, a ray of sun struggling to be seen through the clouds. It’s all there to behold if only we take a few seconds to notice.
The relative ease of basic survival.
Survival -such an ominous word- always associated with life and death situations. But, we can survive little things….like every day. Like a difficult phone call. Or an embarrassing moment. Or a bad hair day. If we don’t let these things consume more than their fair share of our happiness, then we have survived. It seems over-simplified, but really…it’s not. As each day comes to a close, lift up a prayer of thanks, for you have, in fact, survived it. It may not have been perfect, but tomorrow is another day. If you’re still having trouble with these joy-killers, then I have a secret for you: Laugh at them. They HATE that.
If you want to be happy, stop trying to convince yourself you’re miserable.
Things have happened to you in your life. Me, too. They have all brought us to the same place: today. Where you are today is a compilation of everything you have been through in your life. Perhaps you aren’t altogether thrilled with where you are today. That’s not a bad thing, it just means there’s still some work to be done. It’s almost a bit exciting as it means there are lessons and opportunities to come.
When hard times come, be sure you aren’t so busy crying the blues that you cannot hear opportunity knocking. It doesn’t like to visit too often so try to leave the door ajar. Sometimes opportunities present themselves in the most unlikely of ways. Be open to seeing them. They’re always there, you need only capitalize on them.
The importance of living your truth.
No one knows you better than you know yourself. Make sure to take the time to REALLY know yourself. To me, the essence of YOU is who you are when you are all alone. What you do when no one else is watching or when you know no one else will ever know. Living your truth means answering the little voice that’s been tugging at your sleeve. Do the things that you feel will complete you. To make yourself the best you you can be. No one is going to do it for you. Don’t feel obligated to live your life for other people. Ever.
And those are the little lessons I have learned that I would like to share with anyone who is open to considering them. I hope they are as helpful to others as they have been to me.
And so with that 2012, I wish you all the best as I know you have many jobs to do. You will bring so much to so many. It’s a giant undertaking, but I know you’re up to the task. I’m confident that together we can make a lot of wonderful things happen. We’ve got a dozen months. 52 weeks. Heck, we’ve even got an extra day this Leap Year. I know we can do it all, one beautiful day at a time.
Oh, and when you see 2011 tonight, can you give her a message for me? Tell her that while I am saying goodbye to her, she will not be forgotten. She was treasured, valued, and lived. I’ll never forget all of the good times and I promise to tuck the lessons she sent me in a safe place and call upon them when I need to. And don’t forget to thank her for me, please. I feel blessed and honored to have been a part of it.
Thanks in advance, 2012.
Here we go! XO
Melissa Bolton is a copywriter and Brand Therapist® who uses Neurobranding to develop solopreneurs, micro-businesses, and individuals residing in the creative arena. Her signature Brand Therapy services include pairing both psychology and behavioral science principles with your story to help you define your brand, impel your niche, and breathe new life into your ideas.