On my birthday (a few days ago) I get to thinking what life I’d like to live in my next year around the sun. I have always identified as a creative person and measured my personal worth against whether I’ve felt I am being creative enough, pursuing my passions, and making a life that stands out in the world. With these big, abstract goals, I usually end up feeling that I’ve fallen short.
I haven’t become an artist, a chef, a brewer, writer, farmer, small business owner in a straightforward, professional sense. But on my best days, I realize I have all of these things and am always growing closer to them. What have labels ever meant, anyway?
This year, I am working to feel that I am enough.
I feel lucky to have so many passions – most of which involve making and improvement in many ways. Cooking, growing, brewing, fermenting, sewing, swimming, yoga, artmaking — all are paths, not products that I can complete and move on from. This is often difficult for me to remember. But the path is what I love about my life. There is always room to be stronger or more flexible. There is always something more to learn, and another way to grow.
This year, I will try to stop measuring myself against others’ paths.
I often feel an urgency to “find my way,” or that time is slipping away for me to become something, someone. I don’t believe this is true in sunlight. But too frequently I compare myself to others – I am inspired by their successes and creativity and let this serve as an indictment on something in myself I find lacking. This year, I hope to be more at peace with myself.
When I’m honest about what I really want in life, I realize that much of it I already have. I have a home where plants, good food, and friends abound.I am in love with a wonderful partner in life. I am never at a loss for something to learn, read, and make. There is always something in the world to explore, and this will always be enough.
Happy new year!