Conflicted chaos brewed unabashedly beneath the surface. Frustrated yet focused. Angry yet amused. Cowardly yet courageous.
I persistently pruned these paradoxes. Only to become more perturbed.
I hid my thoughts. Stopped speaking up, showing up. Screwed up. Yep.
I blamed bureaucracy. I seethed at the sight of authority. I snared at the city, the systems, and the saturation of complacent souls. I hid the pain of my dreams being dashed every day.
I had a steady salary. Health insurance. Support. Friends. Faith.
But fake empires of ego scripted my success. And like the denouement of some sad story, caution chained me to the District's despicable despair. I could no longer coexist in a city that cried crocodile tears. So I changed my script.
It didn't happen on a first of January, with its fetching farewells of the former year. Sure, it's a clean slate, and a fresh start. But it's an otherwise meaningless day with too much focus on romanticized resolutions, ruminations of society's sugarcoated success.
I'm all about change -- and being a better human. But you don't always need to make it happen starting on New Year's Day.
Change happens over time, by getting out of your comfort zone. It happens when you set intentions that are fueled with soul. It happens when you reassemble your story to imagine who you want to become.
Who did I want to become?
I wanted to be free from working for the man, and craved a creative life. I made mindfulness, spontaneity, and simplicity my intentions that year. And channeled my paradoxes into a more appropriate passion.
I feared change at first. But I feared not changing more. I moved to the beach. Traveled the world. Embraced a minimalist mindset. And imagined having pure, unadulterated freedom as I built my business from scratch.
I may not know exactly who I want to become. It's a work in progress. But I no longer have excess. I have abundance. And I wake up alive each day.
In a Pearl Jam song, Eddie Vetter sings that he "changes by not changing at all." His poetic paradox whispers with waning desires. And like the New Year, it's a raw reminder to scratch beneath the surface. To not let our hearts and thoughts fade through the wrinkles of time. To act today or any day throughout the year if you want a different life.
The New Year is meaningless if you distance your desires, or stop exploring the stories that aren't being told. It's meaningless if you let fear and complacency run your life.
Whether you imagine a different life on January 1 or on any one of the 365 days around the sun, trust the process to unfold.
Seek substance. Reframe your fears. Rewrite your script. Drift towards desires with depth. Parade your paradoxes. Let the world see you.
Don't stop embracing the richness of life. Seek something bigger, brighter, bolder. Allow your gut to guide you. Channel curiosity into meaningful change.
How much more magic would happen if imagination led your desires? Would you sacrifice your saccharine success to make room for abundance? Look at your history to learn lessons, and discover the subtext of your soul. You'll often find more meaning there.