2016 began for me as the Year of “Maybe” and “Not Sure.” One of my family members didn’t know whether he’d get deployed overseas. Because of his uncertainty, another family member’s wedding plans were up in the air. I knew I’d soon be transitioning out of a job I’d held for 9 years, but didn’t yet have an exit date (or even an exit month), nor any idea what would replace it. My husband and I were debating whether we’d move out of the country to where his family is, or if we’d try for success in the US first.
I experienced a lot of stress in not knowing and not being able to make plans. But not knowing also included a lot of freedom because I wasn’t tied down by extraneous commitments. The direction of my life had not yet been set, and it was both glorious and terrifying. It meant opportunity. It meant instability. It meant waiting. It meant being present to the present moment. It was uncomfortable to have nothing set, nothing in my grasp, nothing under my control. I think it was good for me to experience that kind of extreme dependence for a time, but I don’t think it would be good for me long-term. I’m looking forward to more balance.
As 2016 closes, it leaves behind a few answers to the questions it brought with it, as well as a handful of new questions for the coming year. I hope that 2017 offers a better balance of mystery and clarity than did its predecessor—for my country, for my family, for myself. Would the known and the unknown of 2017 bring us all just enough discomfort and just enough comfort to develop in us more courage, more patience, more understanding, more maturity, and more love toward ourselves and our fellow humans.