Last night, I walked home from Staples Center after a Kings game in chilly weather with winds gusting up to 18 MPH.
Most of the time the wind blew straight at my face, causing me to lower my head and lean forward to keep pushing my way home. At times, the head wind was so strong it slowed my pace by half or even stopped me altogether.
Occasionally, the wind shifted 180 degrees and pushed at my back until I was moving too fast and trying to control my momentum. Those bursts never lasted long, and while it was a relief to have some help walking a little more quickly, it was hard not being in control. Plus, I spent my time worrying when the wind would shift another 180 degrees and resume it's attempts to slow my progress.
As it turns out, walking through last night's windstorm is a great metaphor for the year I had in 2010.
Whether I was fighting conditions holding me back or struggling to control unwelcome forward momentum, everything was a battle. I got caught up in the emotion of that struggle, and I made a lot of mistakes handling the challenges I faced -- in some cases major ones I'm still trying to completely repair. I looked for places and people to blame. Over the course of the year, that constant battle wore me down. At one point, I wanted to give up completely. I felt exhausted, uninspired and hopeless. I lost myself, or at least my vision of who I want to be.
But I realized I DO have the power to find myself again. Like a good sailor, I just need a plan to navigate and the strength to adjust my sails and tack around so the wind works for me, not against me. If life is a journey and not a destination, I still have a lot of sailing left in me.
I think they use champagne to christen boats, right?
Then toast with me as the next phase of my journey begins. HAPPY NEW YEAR!