Reflecting at the End of the YearAs everyone does, if the internet is to be believed, I like to use the holidays as a chance to reflect. Truthfully, I tend to be a rather self-reflective person in general. Others might call it "narcissism" but I digress. I like to think about what I'm thinking and how it's different from what I used to think.
Sometimes it's easier to think the complicated thoughts than feel the complicated feelings.
I think as a defense mechanism - if I can plan for it, I can prepare for it, and "it" can't hurt me. At least, that's what Type-A Courtney wishes would work, and it's the best strategy I've got so far. But we all know that the effort is futile: "it" will eventually catch you. Hurt is inevitable. And, surprisingly, that realization has been the most freeing lesson of my 2014.
Once I realized that everything in the world could hurt me, I stopped making choices based on avoiding hurt.
If I had to sum up 2013 in one word, it would be loss. I lost friends and family who were close to me, I lost a relationship, I lost some of my confidence, I lost my footing in a space that I thought I knew. And no amount of thinking or preparing could have prevented it. No amount of extra effort or carefulness or diligence can bring back our loved ones who are gone, or make someone love you in the way you deserve, or even make you love you in the way you deserve.
Hurt will find you well enough on its own, it doesn't need you to go looking for it.
My theme for 2014, almost unconsciously, has been risk. I moved in with strangers, bared my soul to acquaintances, left the country with a broken phone, said "yes" more often than I said "no", and said "no" to people who aren't used to hearing it. I began a complicated relationship with a complicated man. "But you could get hurt" stopped being reason enough to not do something. And those risks, so far, have paid off.
The strangers I moved in with became my Brooklyn family.
The acquaintances I connected with have become close friends.
Leaving the country caused me to reconnect with one of my oldest and best friends.
I directed more, danced more, experienced more.
I found a new job and took my business to another level.
And that complicated relationship is the best I've ever been in.
It's still all scary. Yes, I will still get hurt. I am a work in progress. But I am happy. And, most importantly, I'm taking new risks and minimizing the role fear plays in my life. Thank you for supporting me and my journey. Thank you for reading.
May your 2015 be filled with risks and rewards beyond your wildest dreams. And, just once, may your laughter be caught on film so that you remember what your joy looks like when you're too scared.