shedding my skin, again.

As seems to be the annual way with me, I am once again packing up and starting over. There has been so much leading up to this transition, so many transitions before it, and even more (I am sure) to come after. This year has been one of incredible personal growth and expansion for me. I turned thirty, started a business, developed a yoga practice, almost turned into a runner. I added things and people and activities to my life; I tried on many different versions of the person I hope to be. And now, just as I begin to pack up my things and decide what to take and what to leave behind, I realize that those decisions pertain to more than just my physical belongings.

I m paring down my "stuff" - my relationships, assumptions and belongings. So often, we use these things to define ourselves and without even realizing it, our self-definition has evolved but it's pieces have not.

The first and largest item to go was my car. I have driven an SUV since college. I've always had one for transporting dogs and skis and friends and bikes and sleeping bags. I needed 4WD for the mountains and snow, I needed a big engine to get across miles of open highway.  I was worried about the change as my truck (and my ability to deftly maneuver it) has long been a part of my identity,  but I feel so free in my new little (40mpg) car.

I've packed up bags and bags of things I no longer use to give to Goodwill. I'm selling furniture that is too big for my (presumably) small city apartment. I am paring down and simplifying my life, letting go of things that have become dead weight, both in my closet and in my heart.

The hardest thing for me to do this year has been to let myself let go of certain people. I am a pleaser. I have always felt an obligation to make everyone happy all the time and if someone no longer wanted to be friends with me, I felt as though I had failed in some way. I have realized that that is not necessarily the case. As we change and grow at different speeds, we just naturally meet up with people who are moving at a similar speed. I've felt bad about losing touch with several people in my life, but I have to keep moving forward and wish them the best on their own travels.

I am excited about the opportunities that exist before me. I recently received a newsletter from my yoga studio in which the director wrote about the Tibetan Buddhist concept of "emptiness." It's not about being without, but rather seeing every situation as free of your preconceptions and full of possibility. I'm struggling to see the new situations I find myself in everyday as open to opportunity and not as though I already know the outcome. Reminding myself at every turn to live the mystery and maintain my sense of adventure in this life.

Onward. And upward!