2016: On Becoming

The first day of the new year, as I sit in it, is pale grey. Light diffuses through the rooms from overcast skies, lending shadows to the usual corners, and providing softly brighter patches on walls as windows catch and bend whatever meagre offering has osmosed from the hidden sun. It’s cool, and though wrapped in blankets and be-woollen-socked, I can feel the chill pooling in my fingertips as they tap-tap-tap, spilling thoughts once more through the wires and outward to journey…where? To you, I suppose.

2016 On Becoming

I pause, as the still air slips beneath my collar and runs a cold finger across my shoulders, making the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. I watch with mild amusement as goosebumps weave their way down my arms, and I stop typing to lift my mug of tea, wrapping my hands around it, luxuriating in the residual warmth. The heavy mug slides between my hands, smooth sides on dry skin – nothing gripping, except my thumb, hooked through the lime-and-white loop of the handle, preventing a mishap.

It’s a fabulously ugly mug, won in a party game my sister organised, so many years ago I can no longer recall the occasion. Its bright green interior clashes with every drink it holds, and it unabashedly presents a repeating pattern of chunky, basic swirls (in dischordant tones of sunshine, cobalt and tomato) to the world. I tip the last of the rooibos down my throat, savouring the rich, honeyed taste. I’ll be drinking a lot more of it soon, and though it’s not my favourite, I’ve come to appreciate the flavour and take comfort from it (which is really all tea need ever provide).

My eye wanders to the vase in the centre of the table, which holds the brave remnants of a glorious bunch of flowers sent to me by my 1000mile heart. Previously a luxurious winter rainbow – a floral tribute to friendship – it has diminished with time. Carnations still glow like rubies in the dull light, and the chrysanthemums bravely thrust out the last of their shaggy, ember-bright orange heads. Wilted petals droop disconsolately on the blooms which have given up, yet at the peak of the bunch, fronds of bud-bubbled ‘greenery’ reach eagerly towards the window, one or two having burst, gloriously small, into spark-yellow beauty.

The water is slightly gungy with time, still encased in lead-crystal, but fresher for having had an influx this morning of new water poured on old. I recall how it swirled, lightened, and will provide a boost to the struggling bunch. Life, all life, encapsulated there, in that one vase (if we choose to see it); topped by an artifice of glittering red berries and sparkly plastic fronds, yet the whole all of it a gift – beautiful, given freely, with love.

a luxurious winter rainbow - a floral tribute to friendship

Memories of last night well up, their imagery rich with open fire, delicious nibbles, the smooth click of Scrabble tiles, and the knowledge of home and belonging. Each thought is bordered with sadness at sudden reminders of the frailty of life, and the never-knowing of it – the manner in which any day might be turned on its head for better or worse – how our worlds can alter in a trice. Or just stop, whilst the other players of the game continue, oblivious, discovering later that everything had shifted without them realising, and that things would never be the same again.

I’m peripheral to this sorrow, but affected still, and I wonder whether this new year of many words (as I was told – a blank, 366 page book, in which I will write my life’s story) will contain more sadness than joy; more anger than happiness; more trial than triumph, or quite the inverse. I wonder how my yet-unseasoned soul will withstand the rigors of frustration, impossible dreams, and hopes which are already spun-sugar brittle along their shining edges.

My heart rolls long-suffering eyes at my mind, and overflows a little Deep Magic into the now-chilly core of my being: whatever else happens, there will always be Love. Whether the connections are forged through words, shared experiences, blood-ties, or happy accident, there are people in the world who have chosen to love me. The knowledge of their acceptance, understanding, and affirmation, pours into the gungy waters of my soul, swirling and lightening it with fresh hope poured on old.

I reach for my second mug of rooibos, feeling its generous heat seep from palms to wrists to elbows, the brew soothing across my palate before sliding down to warm my centre with fragrance; with comfort; with steadfast determination that there will also always be tea. I stop and wait for inspiration to strike as the warmth recedes and the cold strengthens its grip. I’m reminded that I’ve chosen this. There are always options, but this is the one I’ve picked, and change – amorphous, still-conceptual, and indescribably huge – is on the way. Change; my only constant. I’ll be okay.

You'll be okay

 

So let me tell you my words for 2016 – the concepts/life-choices/characteristics I want to absorb and display, diffusely, through clouded skies, or emblazoned vibrantly across my being, glittering under glorious sunshine.

‘Becoming’, in and of itself, is far too huge a word to keep restricted to one year. I want this as the theme for the rest of my life, with sub-sets of words or intentions to take to heart and consider, mindfully, in individual years. I no longer think that there will be a pinnacle – a point at which I survey my world and think “I’m done” – but I hope that I will move ever further Onwards and Upwards, my people alongside me as I evolve.

Adventure: because life is full of half-spun plans, shrouded dreams, and dazzling opportunities. I’m determined to reach out and embrace the possibilities, with all their thorns and rosebuds, to see whether those brittle hopes can be gilded into realities before they shatter. Inherent in this word is the resolution to strive; to explore; to push doors and boundaries;Β to do everything I can to happen to life, rather than waiting for it to happen to me.

Resilience: twinned inexorably with ‘Adventure’, I know paths to true anything rarely run smooth, and that I will need to dig deep beyond my comfort zone to reach the grit and gumption I assume I have dormant within me. I will fall, I will get back up, and regardless of outcomes, my plan is to have tried. PerhapsΒ this is after all, the attitude I need to adopt: to try, and know that failure is not the end, because there will always be another chance and a different pathway.

Footprint: something I intend to lessen as time goes by. It’s begun with purging and moving house; learning to ‘live light’, treading gently in realms to which I am welcomed, yet to which are not my permanence. It will continue with adaptation and the hope of unshackling from all but the most necessary of Stuff, whilst endeavouring to find security within the bonds of love and friendship. It’s manifesting as the decision to go vegan – a frustrating resurgence of allergy forcing me to acknowledge that I can live (and live well) without milk or cheese – that I’m more comfortable if more aspects of my consumption align with my ideals. It’s the hope that in all my choices I refrain from obnoxious militance, yet fight tooth and nail to stand alongside those in whose hearts my footprints will always be welcome.

Love: because we need it – we are always stronger together, and are meant for relationship. We are better and more truly ourselves when we’re nurtured, encouraged, and affirmed – as we are, and who we will be. Love grants us security to reach out into the unknown, offering us the assurance of acceptance; the knowledge that we are wanted and have a place of belonging. Love gives us our centre and fills us to overflowing, enabling us to cascade the *twinklysparklygoodness* to others, rendering us effervescent and attractive; drawing towards us those who likewise cherish the concept that #LoveWins. Love gives us roots and wings and every other muddled metaphor which strives to encapsulate the manner in which we, in all our mess and magic, have a place in someone’s heart.

Glitter: always. Tacky, ‘craft-herpes’, and an indulgently irritating-but-nonetheless-delightful aspect of my world: I send it literally or figuratively, to remind you that you matter to me, and to wish you sparkling brightnesses amidst your commonplace. I’m committed to glittering whenever I can, leaving shining trails which call you Onwards and Upwards as we foray into the future together, all hoping to improve and embetter; all preferring for Good to occur; and that we should be bringers of positivity, finding our own worlds rendered brighter and more lovely by those we choose to share them with.Β There will always be glitter.

And Love.

And tea.

Love...in which we, in all our mess and magic, have a place in someone's heart

I hope that you will likewise find purpose in the year ahead – ways to seek positive change and be the gold. I hope that you will know love, laughter, and good writing. I hope that you will realise dreams and take new pathways. I hope you will be challenged, excited, and determined. I hope you will know Love, friendship, and good reason to get out of bed each day. I hope you learn to be kinder and stronger than ever before. I hope that you will continue Becoming the best version of yourself, and I hope that you will let me walk alongside you, in the capacity that makes sense for us, for as long as we choose.

Happy 2016, my lovelies.

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97 thoughts on “2016: On Becoming

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  5. That last paragraph…those are all of the things I am hoping for in this new year. It was lovely of you to put all of that into words for me so elegantly, as is your way. I wish you all the best in the new year and I have no doubt this year will bring you all the wonder and advenute and Love that your heart desires.

    Liked by 1 person

    • *hugs* Thank you, my DA. I hope you have all of those things this year, and so SO much more.

      I’m looking forward to finding out what the year brings. I hope it brings good things for me and everyone I care about.

      Like

  6. Well it’s not going to be rooibos (sp?) but I am boiling water as we type because of your second mention of it and it warming your palms to elbows. I’m just going to have some regular tea. Wow to this whole post and I like “becoming” as a way of life not a means to an end.

    Side note: LOL to craft herpes

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mmmmmm tea! I have another cup of rooibos here as I reply. The loose leaf, ‘eleven o clock’ tea. It’s yummy.

      But I’m so glad you like this and it made you giggle *clinks tea mugs with you*

      Like

  7. Dear Lizzi, I’ll add the 81st comment. πŸ™‚ I love your words. Footprint jumped out at me. I understand an agree with your intention but when I saw that word, it pricked another thought in me. While here, we all will leave a mark. What will my footprint, my shadow left on the earth be? love to you and best wishes for 2016.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhh, hello, lovely Jamie πŸ™‚ Happy New Year to you, and I hope you have a glorious one.

      I love that the word “footprint” jumped out at you. It’s something (along with Becoming) that I’ve wondered about – in whose hearts will my footprint always be welcome? What mess will I leave behind me? What good or ill will I do to the planet? Some of that is the reason behind going vegan, purposefully so. But…I think I still could prove to be a treacherous inhabitant, and cause damage on hearts or worlds or lives in ways I never knew. I hope to Become a more careful person, living lightly.

      Lovely to see you again. Hope all is well xo

      Like

  8. Talk about imagery! Stunning. I felt the cold you described! Lizzie – writers like you make me feel sooooo unworthy. Just beautiful though, really. All of it. And I love your words. Especially glitter – genius. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhh Allie, it’s never my intention to make anyone feel unworthy – I just want my readers to have the experience along with me! I’m so glad you felt it πŸ™‚ And thank you! I think glitter is a given, but some of the others are already proving tricky! Resilience, for one…! Happy New Year to you, too πŸ™‚

      Like

  9. Oh, Honeybee. Your words. They flow so beautifully and tickle my mind! You already are fabulous but I love that you continue to want to ‘become’. Always finding ways to do more and to give to others. I am glad you are giving to yourself as well. xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ohhh thank you so much! I’m so happy that you enjoyed my words! That’s wonderful to know. I think I will always want to Become more than I am. The impression I get is that very few people feel there’s no room for improvement in their character, and I know there’s LOTS of room for improvement in mine πŸ™‚

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    • It’s hardly surprising – your 2015 was pretty rocky, too, and I think having a few months to regroup is no bad thing. I’m writing most of 2015 off to ‘regrouping’….even my Murica trip comes under that, I think, because now I have SUCH a new direction in life, and I’m hugely excited about it.

      Here’s to Becoming. I don’t want to pass it up either, and I realise that’s precisely what I’ve been doing for too long.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I love your inspiring words! I create goals in different categories (personal, professional, family, etc). I love how your words can cross over! Thank you for inspiring me to rethink my goals and add words! Beautiful inspiring post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahh you’re welcome, and wow…what did you add? Are you gonna link your post to Finish the Sentence Friday this week? It’s all about “My word for the year is…” so it would be perfect, by the sound of things.

      I like your idea of having different categories of goal…hmmmm! Got me thinking. πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks so much Hotberg. It was an AMAZING year in so many ways – both on and off-blog. Love that I got to meet you In Real and spend some time having larks and cocktails πŸ˜‰ Happy New Year to you, too, and may your 2016 be filled with wonderful moments.

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  12. Oh heart sister. Your imagery and words delight my senses. Yours words for the new year are inspiring! Quite lovely to read, quite heart-rending to feel. Beautiful!

    And love. And tea! β™‘

    Liked by 1 person

    • It sounds as though you’ve felt these feels and been to these places too, of dim light and dark edges, with only a glimmer somewhere behind the clouds to remind you to keep going, because it will be worth it in the end…

      Thank you πŸ™‚ I’m glad you enjoyed this, and that you like my goals. I’m hoping to stick with them – I know they’re not specific or measurable or any of the things goals are *meant* to be, but perhaps they’re more achievable for all that.

      Love, and tea, back atcha xo

      Like

  13. Hi Lizzi, I’ve hopped over to here from Christine’s blog – she’s mentioned you so often I thought I should come over and take a look at yours.

    What a great post, I love descriptive writing – I should do more of it myself really but I don’t type very fast and it takes me ages just to do one post, plus I wouldn’t like to bore my readers.

    So you like red bush tea – I tried it once several years ago while staying in South Africa and once was enough, it was vile! 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome Eunice! I recognise your blog name from seeing you comment at Christine’s! Hiiii *waves hello*

      Thanks for liking this. I tried to convey the situation I was in. I find it a good exercise for myself as a writer, but also I know as a reader, I really appreciate when I can ‘feel’ what’s going on for the writer, so on two levels it’s something I really enjoy. I’m lucky in that I do type fast, though, so it’s pretty simple for me to do.

      Red bush tea is an acquired taste. I first read about its existence in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books (by Alexander McCall Smith) and was INTRIGUED by how much Mma Ramotswe liked it. So I found some and bought it and tried it and hated it. Then I persisted and found I didn’t mind it. Then I liked it. And now that I’m not having black tea or coffee (because they inhibit iron absorption, which I’m currently having an issue with) I need a suitable alternative. So rooibos it is πŸ™‚

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  14. “My heart rolls long-suffering eyes at my mind”

    An exquisitely written maiden post Lizzi. Beautiful.

    You hadn’t shown up at the vid chat yet last Friday. Or had you? I was expressing my oft feelings of inadequacy when it comes to writing when I read writers such as yourself. I would wish you always hone your gift. You are an inspiration to more people than you realize.

    May this coming year be no less than your hopes and dreams realized πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wasn’t there for that bit, no, and whilst I’m so honoured that you feel that way about my words, I still think that in the grander scheme of ‘where does it *actually* get me’, there’s still been no better boon to it than the people I’ve met through doing it. So there’s that.

      (That said, if it could somehow make me a coupla mil, I wouldn’t object, yaknow?)

      But THANK YOU, and you can be assured I will continue to write, in whatever form it takes, onwards into the new year (and probably beyond that, too!) I will hone.

      And thank you for thinking me inspiring. I think you are, too. When it comes to lifestyle and not being afraid to start over (or being, and doing it anyway), and living light, adapting, and taking chances, I know of few better role models amongst those I know In Real. What a delight it is, too, to know you In Real πŸ™‚ I like that very much.

      Liked by 1 person

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    • Ohhh now wouldn’t THAT be the most glorious thing! I’d love that. You were one of the lucky ones – you saw me at some of my very best, and I’m so glad. I will never forget us doing yoga in front of that rainbow wall in the glorious sunshine. I loved that πŸ™‚ I hope to see you again TOO! It would be blissfully amazing. I hope 2016 brings you many, many times of enormous joy and happiness ❀

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  16. Beautiful Lizzi, especially the part where you describe your flowers. I can’t see them anymore, their colours, but when you described them I could see them again, in my mind’s eye.
    I hope for all the things you list in your post, throughout the coming year, but I am afraid I won’t have any of it.
    I will remember this post when I am most afraid over the coming twelve months. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhh I’m really glad that I made it so descriptive now πŸ™‚ Thank you for your hopes for my year. The thing with fear is that it is (as Sherlock said) a healthy response to a dangerous situation (which I think applies physically and emotionally) and courage is bravery in the face of fear. My wish for you this year is courage, and the knowledge that what you WILL have, can be good and glorious and wonderful in the ways it is most possible. We’ll all have a mixture, but I do hope many good things for you πŸ™‚

      Either way, we both have a whole year to figure it out.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Beautiful.
    This.
    “I hope that you will continue Becoming the best version of yourself, and I hope that you will let me walk alongside you, in the capacity that makes sense for us, for as long as we choose.”
    Wow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Carin. It’s always my hope that my friends will continue to choose me, and (in a blog sense) my readers, too. I hope that the participants in the TToT will continue to participate, and that the community we have here continues to build and strengthen as time goes by πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Here’s to non-militant veganism! I’m headed that way myself this year. Allergies didn’t get me there, but reading The China Study helped me along that path. I also do not want to be obnoxious, and I recognize that most people make different choices regarding dairy and meat–and that’s OK.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The China Study? I might have to look that up! For me it was more the realisation that milk (and cheese) both contribute to the meat industry, and that my vegetanarianism (to avoid supporting said meat industry) was rather undermined by my continued consumption of dairy. But yes – I don’t plan to shove it down people’s throats or expect them to live in any way other than what works best for them and their own decisions. I’m looking forward to trying a few more of Jen’s recipes πŸ™‚

      Like

  19. Well Happy New Year and yes, you will be okay…you will be more than okay… you will continue to be dynamic and lively and brooding and grey and bright and all those things rolled into a glitter encrusted Lizzi… I cant think of anything better for you to be other than yourself! xo Mrs. Clooney and Her Accountant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Mrs Clooney (and Accountant), I do so adore you both, and THANK YOU! I hope I shall continue to be the sparkly, bizarre enigma you’ve come to know and appreciate. I hope that this year holds untold wonders for all of us, and that we continue to enjoy the rituals of the Friday Night and the connections we have, and that we might see each other again soon πŸ™‚

      Like

  20. Glitter. And love. And tea. All things I think of when I think of you. This is so beautifully written my dear. I’m glad I poured myself a cuppa first. So I can sit and relax and enjoy the taste of your words in my mouth…with a little milky tea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Why does that sound faintly erotic? I like it πŸ˜‰

      ANYWAY!

      I have tea here myself, replying (rooibos, because black tea has tanins which inhibit iron uptake, and I’m LOW on that sfuff, ergo some of the exhaustion lately) and thank you for liking it so much. And HEY, talking of GLITTER AND LOVE and LETTERS (which we weren’t talking about, but NOW I AM)…I’ve just remembered that I picked up something VERY exciting in the post today… ❀

      Liked by 1 person

        • I love the card – it was perfect timing – just as I was responding to your comment about tea, love, and travel…and I was drinking tea…and I remembered the card and lo-and-behold…tea, love, and travel!

          It was goosebumpy, my pimp πŸ˜‰

          (also, erotic? YUM! Bring on the syrup and somewhere quiet)

          Liked by 1 person

  21. As usual, Lizzi, this is beautiful and gorgeously written. Thank you for always making me feel like I matter. I hope in 2016, I can do more show to show you the same. As far as moving goes, I hope it happens again very very soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Squishy, you do SO VERY matter. Generally, and specifically, in more ways than you can possibly appreciate (I know, I *know*…same applies in reverse, I’m sure). Thanks for liking how it was writ. And I promise, you’ve done so so much already, you need do no more.

      As for moving…YES! Here’s to AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! My end-game is to live in OK, somewhere, I think, and so I’ll be close by to you ❀

      Like

  22. I picked a phrase and 3 words for my year. My phrase is “adjust your sails.” I did a lot of adjusting last year. Some of it was painful but I learned and I was accepting and overall it felt good. It felt right. I really like your thoughts on “footprints.” I’ve always been a minimalist – except when it comes to fabric – but I can definitely improve. The only footprints I do want to leave are those of love, understanding, and acceptance. – Great post Lizzi, as always. – Wishing you the Happiest New Year. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much πŸ™‚ Adjusting your sails is a GREAT phrase – I will always remember being told how you might be off course by only a few degrees at the beginning, but travel a few miles and you’ll be hugely far away from where you intended to end up.

      Adjusting is difficult, boy do I feel ya there! I think I’ve never had more adjusting to do than in 2015. I hope that 2016 is much calmer for both of us πŸ™‚

      Like

  23. Beautiful and inspirational once again, Lizzi. I wish we could all embrace those words for 2016. I know Mathair and I will try our hardest to implement those into our lives. While others apply superficial resolutions; you look at the bigger picture which is a beautiful and selfless thing. It is so you, Lizzi. ❀ Mathair and I hope you had a wonderful New Year and that you get all that you long for in this beautiful, fresh and shiny new year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhh I hope you and Mathair both had a glorious new year celebration, and that 2016 holds huge wonder and success for you both, personally and professionally.

      I think it must surely be easier to focus on particular ideals within the context of a more over-arching whole. I suppose we’re ALL just searching for meaning, in our ways. I suspect we’re more likely to find it together, or even IN each other’s company, than alone πŸ™‚

      Take care, lovely one, and don’t be a stranger πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  24. I’m working on finalizing my words for 2016. I especially like your explanation about how “becoming” is too big for one year, and making it a word for the rest of life. That fits in so well with the work I’m trying to do from this point forward. Thanks for such a lovely and insightful post. All the best in 2016 and beyond.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so so much, Kitty, and thank you too, for being one of my most steadfast friends and encouragers. You are still and will always be one of my lifeboats, and I’m SO thankful to know you, and to walk alongside you. Even when we get lost, we have FUN, right? ❀

      Like

  25. Such gorgeous imagery here and the pacing – slow and steady, noticing, drinking in – is perfection for the end of one year and the beginning of another. The concept of Becoming being a lifetime intention is so meaningful and, to me, quite a brilliant leap: why keep coming up with new intentions each year when we really need THE ONE for our lifetime? Breaking it down like you have makes it totally doable – and inspiring. Love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah Lisa, I’m so glad you think so. I read your post about joy and the missing umbrella this morning, in between writing this and sipping tea, and I think that your outlook for this year is also beautiful and completely meaningful within the wider context of Becoming.

      I love that as writers we get to read and share and find such inspiration in each other’s words as we all strive to evolve into the person we feel sure we CAN be, and to appreciate the people we are along the way.

      And thank you for the compliment – I always find your writing richly beautiful, too πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  26. As to a tasteful wish, within your new year,

    i read a piece yesterday that you and hasty had written,

    i found the piece one of best pieces that i have ever read…

    May i join you for a spot of tea?

    hugs chris

    Ps; i pass on to you a couple of winks, three blinks and soft kiss on your forehead!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. You write such images its almost like being there with you, tasting that tea, feeling that chill, seeing that light. I’ve only been reading you and sharing your becoming for a short while, but that that is your process is clear. We are all of us, inevitably, irresistibly, necessarily becoming. There are those who try to stop it with illusions of an end to learning, growing, ageing. They fail. You are not one of those. Accepting it, you rightly see no pinnacle. Such a joy to witness!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Change is inevitable, but learning is optional and I want all I can out of life. It’s a big, crazy journey, but one I want to slide off the end of having left myself, and my people, better for me having been there.

      And YAY! I love, love writing to make people FEEL, so YES! Thank you for getting it and feeding back on my success there *glee*

      Liked by 1 person

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