Goodbye, 2011. Hello, 2012.

This year was arguably the hardest year of my life, and in some ways also the best year yet. In 2011, I (in roughly chronological order):

  • buried my grandpa
  • met new friends (and some old ones I hadn’t seen in person yet) and caught up with old ones at SXSW 2011
  • worked myself into the ground and nearly had a nervous breakdown
  • got even closer to that nervous breakdown when our marriage came thisclose to falling apart
  • took a month off
  • came back from the month off to immerse myself in an intense business incubation experience
  • saw my hometown get destroyed
  • went to WDS, and saw even more new & old friends (and even a few of my heroes)
  • came back and said good-bye to an old online home and hello to my new business
  • moved in our second-biggest-disaster-move ever (think moving things until 5 AM in the morning)
  • broke my foot
  • spent a lot of time on the recliner recovering from said broken foot, went a little stir-crazy
  • went far, far too long without seeing my family (before the 19th, the last time I saw them was January at the funeral)
  • made some incredible mindset shifts
  • cried a lot
  • laughed a lot
  • and grew to really appreciate the friends, support, and community that I am so lucky to have.

I’m not necessarily thankful for the hard times ((I think that whole philosophy that either we wouldn’t recognize good things without the bad, or that we have to go through extreme pain to, like, toughen up and get strong and stuff, is crap.)) but I’m thankful for what I learned about myself through them. If I had any doubts before this year, I now know that I’m strong, capable, intelligent, and that I am in control. If I want to make something happen, I can do it. I am holding the key at all times, even though sometimes I forget it. I choose how, why, where, and when I react to things and take action, I get to choose the effect that people, words, and events have on me.

Way, way too often I’ve found myself sitting in a box, beating myself against the door trying to get out, only to later realize that the key was in my hand the whole damn time. (I’m sure you know the feeling.)

Realizing that in such a visceral way is incredibly empowering. It’s also kind of scary.

I’m not sure what I want my word for 2012 to be. I kind of want to say ease, but I think that that was actually my word for 2011 (which is a little hilarious). I want 2012 to be easy – not cheap easy, but challenge without struggle. Being in a state of flow. That kind of easy. I have big plans in store for 2012 (as you may have guessed from the intro post here), and I don’t want to be bored, but I don’t want to find myself endlessly frustrated either.

Goodbye, 2011. Thanks for what you taught me. Thanks for the good things you gave me. You were certainly not forgettable.

Hello, 2012. Let’s be friends and do awesome things together. ‘Kay?

What did you learn from 2011? What are you keeping in mind going in to 2012?

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