I love this time of year. Everything starts to slow down a little. It's such a relief after the mad build up of intensity and hurried planning. Work is crazy in December but the last week or so before Christmas break - everything starts to slow down.
I love the city streets lit up with Christmas lights and the people hurrying to their planned events, and shopping in time for the Big Day.
There is excitement in the air.
Around this time of year I often reflect on the year that has been, and what I've done and how far I've come. I love looking at photos I've taken over the last 12 months and think over where my life has taken me. This year is no exception. In fact this year, I've possibly come the furthest it's possible to come in a year.
It's been a wonderful one. It's had ups and downs. To the extreme. But there is absolutely no part of this year that I'd change, even if I could.
My life has taken turns I never imagined it would. I should let go of the surprise for that one, but it always surprises me where life can lead. 6 months ago, there's no way I could have predicted exactly where I am right now, in so many ways. But I cannot even begin to describe how happy and content I am to be right here.
In this place.
With everything that comes with it.
Courage has been my word this year. Derived from Latin, "cor" means heart. Courage, for me, doesn't mean no fear. It means the opposite. Throwing yourself in despite your fear with all your heart can muster. And that is what I've done.
It's been an incredibly empowering year for me in so many ways. The kind of empowering that people notice, and comment on. Often it isn't easy to embrace and accept yourself exactly the way you are but after a very long journey I feel like I'm here. I had this moment, earlier this year when I travelled to Japan. In that moment I truly let go of everything I thought I should be and everything I had imagined my life would be, and embraced the here and now. Embraced life and emotion for what it is. And threw away that idea of control.
So raise a toast with me, for all that has been this year, and all that will be next year, whatever that is. Let it all hang out. Be afraid of the mess but embrace it anyway.