Looking Back at 2018: A Year of Awakening

Several years ago, I started a tradition in which my last blog post of the year was a reflection on the past 12 months, both in words and photos.

Many people start January by choosing a word as their guiding theme for the year ahead. I could never quite get into that idea. My tradition involves looking back at the past year — reflecting on what I’ve done, learned and experienced. And inevitably, the word that was the year’s theme comes from that.

Looking back at 2018, it hit me immediately what the right word is to sum up the year: awakening.

Last year at this time, I wrote that 2017 embodied transformation, and 2016 reflected change. Thinking about the last three years, the order of these words makes sense. I moved from San Diego to Indiana in 2016, which marked the biggest change of my life. After settling into my new home, 2017 become a year of transformation — of my mindset, world-view, work direction, and running and health habits. Those two years led the groundwork for 2018 and what I feel was my personal awakening.

What does awakening look like? To put it simply, I feel alive and awake for the first time in my life (or at least in a very long time). I believe there are many reasons for this. I feel physically awake with respect to my health. As many of you know, I started a running program in January that helped me make tremendous strides in my running ability and confidence. And I spent an entire year working with a friend/coach who helped me become physically strong.

But my awakening goes beyond the physical. I’m emotionally awake in a different way. I feel things differently. My eyes are open to other possibilities and I am less fearful of going down difficult paths. And now more than ever, I want to live my life to the fullest and be open to every new opportunity. Because now that I’ve had this awakening, I don’t want to close my eyes.

These year-end photo collages give me a chance to visually reflect on the past year. I love looking back on all the memories, seeing Sophie grow up and watching the natural environment and seasons change before my eyes. I really love that my physical space is a constant reminder that life passes by, that nothing is permanent, and there is always a possibility to make a change and wake up anew each day.

Thank you for reading Leah’s Thoughts and being part of my journey. Happy New Year, and here’s to 2019!

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