"Just as a snake sheds its skin, we must shed our past over and over again." - Buddha
Over the past few years, I have been in awe of how fast time passes. In 2016, I marveled at how I spent 10 years in a home that I only intended on spending 5 in, if that. At the end of 2018, I paused when I realized that 2 years have already passed since I moved to Georgia.
2018 has been a unique year for me, my deepest plunge into the unknown yet. For a lot of that year, I felt like someone who has woken up in the dark. I let my eyes adjust looking for some glimmer of light. Then, I felt around, making sure I kept my footing, afraid of falling and getting hurt.
Towards the end of the year, I snapped out of the uncertainty. I kicked in like I do when I'm driving through a tunnel. I hate driving through tunnels. I feel claustrophobic. Tunnels feel unnatural to me, and I can't wait to get the hell out of them. Before I get too panicky, I just calm myself with the knowledge that the tunnel will end quickly, and I will see the light. The tunnel walls won't close in, and I will be in the open air, again. With those thoughts, I cruise right through it. That's how I shot out of the cannon of my doubt. I knew it wouldn't last, and I pushed ahead, like I always do.
New year's reflections
As I enter this new year, I recognized that, in the midst of all my confusion, I learned myself even more. I became more sure of myself than I have ever been. I see myself more clearly now than I ever have before.
I have recognized habits and patterns that don't work for me anymore. I noticed that, when I start something new, I come from a place of not wanting to screw it up. Then, I remembered: the best results come from calm. I've seen that over and over again. The only thing anxiety produces is more anxiety.
Now, I come from a mindset of, no matter what the experience turns into, it's valuable. If whatever I do ends up exactly how I intended, that's great. If I make an error and have to self-correct, the lesson I learn is wonderful. I rid myself of the shame attached to making a mistake.
At the same time, I've learned to embrace aspects of me that do work. For me, one of those is my sharp and quick brain. I connect the dots before you even finish talking. I used to make fun of myself for that because it would lead me to be overly-analytical. Now, I am grateful for my agile mind. It's gotten me far.
As I head into 2019, I appreciate how much I have grown in darkness. So much was new for me, and I banged my head against the wall as I was sifting and sorting. I know now, I don't need to do that. Just like when I drive, I know I'll make it through any tunnel. I realized I don't need to look for the light because the light comes from within. That's what guides me and never fails me.
Until next time... look behind and beyond the veil...
Sameena K. Mughal, Author, Freelance Writer