"The journey is the reward." ~ Chinese Proverb
"There is an ancient tribal proverb I once heard in India. It says that before we can see properly we must first shed our tears to clear the way." ~ Libba Bray
What can I say of 2010? Where do I begin?
I think I'll talk about the year using the two quotes above.
The first one come from a place of knowing - even through the tough moments of this past year - that it was a good year. My family and I were in relative good health, I made a bit of a dent on my mortgage and got to visit all the friends I have in the US who matter. I got to catch up with friends too in Manila this Christmas season. Work was ok this year. To be honest, it could've been more challenging, but I'm hoping 2011 will jump start some projects that will excite me.
The second quote speaks of how this year was a year of purging and letting go. There was something poignant about turning 40 this year. I know you won't notice it when you bump into me on the streets, or when you and I are in conversation, but this year was a year of undragoning, the kind I have never experienced before.
Turning 40 had me closing the door to so many things. Motherhood was one of them. Granted I've never seriously considered it because I have no one significant in my life. But this year of my body turning 40 felt like I turned a corner into a neighborhood where motherhood as an option became a lot less likely, a lot more improbable. It hit me this year that the choice is less mine to make. So even if I don't choose it, I mourn that the choice is no longer mine to make.
I know how odd that may read to you. How odd it is to mourn the loss of something you never had. It is odd to me too. I wish it wasn't true that I felt this way, but it is.
This year, I also wrestled with God a lot more. You see, if there is one thing I rage against, it is the notion that the God I love loves me less than others. But it is with sad honesty that I will confess to you that I got there many times this past year. I tried so hard to shake myself out of it. I mean, who wants to feel unlovable to God? And how utterly ungrateful that is, to feel unloved amidst all the loving and unblessed while awash in blessings. I became the kind of person I abhored and despised: a person unable to be thankful for the blessedness of her life. And envious of the blessedness of others.
Was it naive of me Lord to think I would never feel that way about you? And yet I got there and when I did, I was full of remorse because I had never felt that way before. Separated from you in a way that broke my heart. I felt not only far from you, but that I disappointed you too.
And yet I know I am yours. And that I can't do anything that would separate me from your love.
And because knowing is not the same as feeling, I rely more and more on your knowing. And I know in the most simple and sublime moments of this year, that you love me.
In a friend's embrace.
In the midst of our family dinners.
In seeing my parents eating with gusto.
In conversations with my Papa.
In food trips with my Mama.
In the quiet of our morning meet-up.
In the thoughtfulness of friends who keep me in their lives.
In the solitary evenings in my flat.
It is true after all, what C.S. Lewis said when he said "We have nothing to offer God that is not already His own."
I am His. I am already His own. And everyone I love whom I offer to Him is already His own. May we all find comfort in that when we look back at 2010. May it strengthen us all in 2011.
"I am large. I contain multitudes." - Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
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