street art of girl releasing balloon

Release

Illustration of hands releasing butterfliesThe word I have chosen as my focus this year is Release.

This, in part, is an extension of my word from past year(s), Simplify.

To me, the concept of release captures letting go of clutter, yes, but also unhealthy emotional attachments, and release of pre-conceived notions of who I should be, and what my life should look like.

There are all these messages, these stories, of what an ideal life looks like. Many of them picked up as children, from the grown-ups around us. That young, you feel like the adults know it all. It isn’t until decades later you realize everyone was making it up as they went along.

The standards – marriage, steady growing career, home, pets or children – are comfortable. They are reinforced through our media and our social interactions. They feel like the safe choice, the best option. But all they are is a story.

So this year I plan to challenge the tropes life has fed me. Let go of who I’m supposed to be to let in who I am. I am both excited and anxious about this process, what if I don’t like who I am? What if the deep-down real me is more of a disappointment than me trying to live to those societal norms.

photograph of about a dozen upside down parasols on the groundBut then, every story has its challenges. And one of the things I love about writing is flipping expectations on their heads. Time to explore that off the page, as well.

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