It’s 2:00 in the afternoon on New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles. Just enough time for me to get sentimental and nostalgic about the year that’s ending and super excited about the one that’s about to begin. It’s a process for me, a journey. I need retrospection and review. And the ruminator in me cherishes this ritual of reflection. But, there’s another year end ritual I also love. It comes from the deepest and most authentic part of me. It’s based on the ancient Persian belief that whatever you’re doing at the moment the new year begins, it will set the tone and pace for the year that will unfold before you. For our own New Year celebration (Norooz), we clean house, get rid of the old and adorn ourselves and our surroundings with the new and the beautiful. A new year is a rebirth for us, a time to come back to life and to evolve and grow from where we find ourselves to whom we are destined to become. So, tapping into my heritage, I have consciously planned this day in order to engender newness and incorporate all that I want my new year to bring to me.
As I write this post, I’m listening to French radio and awaiting the midnight countdown in Paris. This is to bring me closer to the city I love and to fill my life with French culture, which I completely adore. I’m spending some of the last few hours of this year doing what I’m passionate about—writing—as a symbol and reminder of my love of writing and my aspiration to become a working writer. I’m also wearing fun new red ballet slippers. They signify my love for fashion, color, and personal beautification, my love of French street style, my wish to begin things anew and on the “right foot”, as well as the fact that being pregnant, I’ve happily sworn off high heels for the duration of my “delicate” condition!
I am also surrounded by my memories of 2013. It’s has been a very eventful and surprising year for me on every level. It’s been challenging, joyful, heartbreaking, educational and utterly beautiful. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve evolved a lot. I’ve achieved a lot. And I’ve grown a lot. 2013 has been the year of life lessons and wisdoms gained. Every year brings us education, but 2013 has been one of the greatest teachers of my life thus far. So, as I say goodbye to the year that was and I say hello to a new and exciting year, I honor all that I’ve learned by surrounding myself with the greatest lessons of 2013:
1. Live fully despite the fears. Doing so may not get rid of them, but it sure makes life happier and more beautiful.
2. Trust in your own inner strength and bravery. It’s essential to living a fulfilled life.
3. Never underestimate the absolute power of evolution.
4. Celebrate every single day. No exceptions!
5. The ability to say goodbye and move on is indispensable to living a complete life.
6. Stop searching for perfection. Focus on the daily small victories, which are all around you.
7. Disconnect from a need for external sources of self worth and come home to your true self.
8. Never lose sight of your own story or underestimate the amazing journey you’ve had so far.
9. Life’s too short and fleeting to waste time trying to prove your point. Stop trying to justify yourself to everybody.
10. Have a full and emotionally healthy internal life.
11. For once and for all, accept that your happiness starts and ends with you. Don’t give anyone else the responsibility to make you happy. You make you happy.
12. Honor your preferences, limitations and needs. People may call you opinionated. Who cares? You’ve got standards and that means you’re a person with discerning taste.
13. Don’t expect anything from anyone. That way, you’ll never feel let down by others when they don’t come through, but feel pleasantly surprised when they do come through.
14. Appreciate those who stay. Let go of those who leave.
15. Allow people to surprise you, hopefully for the good.
16. Know and revel in the fact that you are a survivor.
17. Never shy away from your convictions. Don’t compromise your standards just to please someone else.
18. Never stop learning, growing and evolving.
19. Allow life to move you.
20. Know that you are beautiful, strong and a marvel.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!