Well, folks, here we are at the end of 2015, and what can I say except…it’s been a year.
The past 12 months have held some of the hardest and best decisions I’ve ever made for the sake of my mental health. It’s been a year of purging in many areas of my life – from clothes and books and other belongings to toxic relationships – and while it hasn’t been easy, overall I’d say it’s been worth it. I’ve learned a lot about myself, about who I am and what I believe, about what works for me and what doesn’t. I’m exiting this year feeling better about myself, my space, and my relationships than I did entering it. Which, as it turns out, fulfills the loose goals I set for myself last year.
Some things, sadly, have not changed since I wrote that post last year. Police have continued to murder black people and suffer few – if any – consequences for it. Violence against trans women, particularly trans women of color, has continued to occur at alarming rates. It’s a frightening world we live in, and as a white dude, I have far fewer reasons to be frightened than most people. I am still learning how to use this new voice and new privilege for good, and I know I fall far short the majority of the time.
As I’m writing this post the day before New Year’s Eve, I’m formulating a little intention-setting ritual for ringing in the new year. At this point, it’s going to look something like this:
- Tea lights (real candles, not the electronic ones)
- Tea light holders
- A toothpick or pocket knife
- Somewhat concrete goals for the year
- Matches or a lighter
- On each tea light, use the toothpick or pocket knife to carve a word or symbol representing a goal for the new year.
- Place the tea lights in their holders.
- While lighting each candle, take a few moments to focus on what the manifestation of that goal will look like.
- Once all the candles are lit, spend a few minutes watching the flames in meditation/reflection.
- Let the candles provide the ambiance for the evening as they burn all the way down.
That’s it. Super simple, but still something a little special to mark the beginning of a new (re)commitment to a goal. (I’m still working out exactly what goals I’m going to set for the year…perhaps one of them should be, “learn to be more decisive!”)
I’m not sorry to see 2015 go, but I feel like we’re parting on mostly amicable terms. I’m looking forward to 2016 and all the promise that it holds!