Breakfast. It’s calm. I just hear the buzzing of the fridge. The cats have left the kitchen after their breakfast while I’m still munching on my musli bowl and cup of coffee.
I stand at the window looking into the backyard and to the row of apartment houses across the small gardens — facing us, facing me. Some with balconies, some with a shared garden. Some trees are still clinging to their last orange and brown leaves. Sometimes Westley sits with me here after his breakfast, proactively purring to get some pets from me while we both stare outside at the beginning of a new day.
Sometimes I listen to music. Or just the buzzing of the fridge. Sometimes I can’t even hear the fridge.
Today I am listening to “Exiting the Matrix” from Charles Eisenstein’s podcast. It seems appropriate for the end of a turbulent 2020. I have seen a lot of swearing and bad words against this year. Yes, in times it seemed like ages long. And it has been a struggle and a challenge alike.
“A state of not knowing. When old stories dissolve you don’t know the answers yet. When the things we knew don’t count anymore.” I hear Charles telling me in his podcast voice. Thoughts in sentences recorded some time this year. But these fit well for today. For when the year ends and a new one is waiting at the doorsteps.
While I sip on my coffee the last 12 months pass in a fast-forward, personal morning movie in my head. We spent New Year's Eve in Brisbane, had 4 weeks of an amazing road trip through New Zealand. Parallel to the new virtual work experiences, I took several different classes, trainings, and workshops throughout the whole year — Regenerative land management and farming in Ireland together with inspiring Irish farmers, woodworking basics in Berlin with Bridget, improv theater, storytelling, and UX writing online with new friends like Lawrence who I haven’t met in real life so far. We even managed to fit some socially distanced traveling into this year — with Dominik and bikes from Munich to Venice and with Bridget and a car through Norway. And I read and listened to Brené Brown quite a bit.
When I start to recall all the things that happened this year I wonder if I didn’t put a bit too much into one year.
Why do I still have the feeling that I didn’t do enough? What is enough? Am I enough?
I watch my unknown neighbors start their days, prepare breakfast, sway to the music, searching for things in their lit living room. It feels meditative and calming to watch their movement, see the lights go on, one after the other, in the dawn of the day.
One thing I am really grateful for in 2020 is the friendships that got more intense, more vulnerable, more open. I had so many personal and deep conversations. I have never shared so much of my own struggles before. In the last days of this year where I question my decisions and the path I am on it is these messages, I turn towards.
„You have shown me to understand life as a journey.“ and „You’ve made and gone through so much change in the last few years — just allow yourself to enjoy it and celebrate your successes.“ are two I read right now while writing these lines.
I might not have all the answers. I might not be able to say „I am enough“ and fully believe it yet. But thank you, 2020, for giving us the chance to look at what’s really important.
See you all in 2021.
„I shall be telling this with a sigh.
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference.“
~ Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken