Everything is Everything

Emily's Musings
Woman standing in front of a lake with her arms raised outwards above her head. The lake's calm water is reflecting the sun and clouds.

So, I just did something surprisingly hard. I went back to the final blog post I wrote in 2019 to read my predictions and public plans for 2020. Yes, the article is cringeworthy. But it wasn’t cringeworthy in exactly the way I expected it to be.

Let me explain…

My word for 2020 was “limitless.” A big part of the joy of coming up with a word of the year is that you can’t really know all the ways that word will influence your life over the course of the year—and that goes double for the dumpster-fire of a year that was 2020.

I can’t really remember what I thought “limitless” would mean for me a year ago. Here’s what I wrote: 

Here is my vision for making space to be limitless in 2020:

  • I will find the white space to reconnect with my creativity.
  • I will reawaken my sense of curiosity by taking time to read, write, and reflect for myself.
  • I will complete the challenges and online courses I’ve signed up for before I sign up for others. I will not sign up for challenges, subscription services, or online courses that I know I won’t complete or use within the next 3 months.
  • I will “stay close to the people who make me feel like sunshine.”

I have done these things this year.

During a year that has felt so limiting in so many ways, I’ve found a way to be limitless. I think that’s pretty remarkable. But there’s so much more to say.

  • While I did find more white space to reconnect with my creativity (I’ve written more for myself this year than ever before even while I’ve also written more for clients and most of that happened in the second half of the year), I find myself making this same commitment to myself again now.
  • I have been consciously taking time to read, write, and reflect for myself.
  • The stuff about signing up for online courses that I don’t finish is not even on my radar anymore. I’m looking internally for answers much more than externally these days (thanks to 2020).
  • I’ve definitely doubled down on staying close to the people who make me feel like sunshine. I’m also learning to “bottle sunshine” for rainy days (as one of my clients likes to say). 

I thought reading this old blog would make me cringe because of all the huge successes and business growth I had been planning, but it turns out, my idea of being limitless was really very grounded.

In that 2019 blog post, I was looking back on the decade that was ending and feeling all of those moments of uncertainty and ungroundedness. And I realized those moments were more about me than about my circumstances or the people who had the most influence on my life at the time. I realized what got me through those challenging life-changing moments of big decisions was trusting in the foundation I had built.

Yep. Emily circa 2019 saw the benefits of putting down roots in order to grow. She saw the rewards (both financial and emotional) of patience and following her heart. She was smarter than Emily circa 2020 gives her credit for.

So what was cringeworthy about that blog?

I also wrote about how I wanted to make 2020 feel less about doing and more about being. I wrote:

I’ve been filling my tank to overflowing, so much so that I have been in mission critical mode for most of the year. I haven’t given myself the white space I need to think about my own business. I’m making this change my big course correction in 2020.

Here’s what I find cringeworthy about this. I did make what feel like big course corrections in 2020. Yet, I’m still filling my tank to overflowing. I’ve been in mission critical mode for most of this year once again. And I’d still like to have more white space to think about my own business.

As much as I feel like I’ve grown in 2020, how can I find myself feeling virtually the same way I did at the end of 2019? 

I was expecting to read this blog post and laugh at how naive I was as a person, as a business owner—as if the previous decade of uncertainty could have had anything on 2020. Ha. But I wasn’t naive at all. I was grounded and clear-headed.

It feels a little sad to think about how little I’ve really learned. There’s another way to look at it, though: I had been preparing myself for weathering the storm. Had I not felt so grounded going into 2020, there’s no way I wouldn’t have lost my sh*t when life as we knew it vanished.

So instead of cringing at Emily circa December 2019, I find myself cringing at Emily circa December 2020. I thought I had learned everything this year. Thought I had grown so much. Turns out, I did a lot more growing in the decade before this crazy year. 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not looking at any of this as bad (Cringeworthy? Sure. But bad? Nah). It’s giving me something to chew over and reflect on during the last bit of 2020 along with my word for 2021: “everything.”

Everything is everything
What is meant to be, will be
After winter, must come spring
Change, it comes eventually

–Lauryn Hill

I honestly have no idea what this word means for me, but it keeps showing up (confirmation bias? Yes). So, I’m going to give it a chance to let it tell me what I need to see and hear. 

But more importantly, I’m going to give myself a chance. Next year, I won’t be looking back and expecting to find a naive mind. I’ll look back and see all the puzzle pieces just before they came together.

Could you be one of the missing pieces? Contact me and let’s chat! I’m open to everything this year, unless it gets in the way of my white space. I owe that to Emily circa 2019.

Photo credit: Nednapa Chumjumpa