But I hate walking into the High Holidays totally unprepared, so I needed to do something. I knew, given my current energy level and mental stamina for Things That Are Huge, that I would not be able to deeply examine all major aspects of my life this year. Not happening. But then I found some inspiration courtesy of Laura McKowen, whose blog and Instagram feed I absolutely LOVE. She wrote a post called, "16 Ways to Remember Who You Are When You Forget," and #16 is:
PICK A WORD AND OWN IT.
The idea is to choose a word that you want to be your focus or mantra for the year, or whatever period of time, and channel your energy towards that. I decided right away that I loved this idea and that I would adopt it as my personal Elul practice this year. In the end, I chose a word and a sentence. Here is my word for 5777:
"Keep going, beauty. Let the Pictured point you to your longing. Consider the Not Pictured and adjust your perspective. Build your own wall and stand on top of it."
And that, I think, is the essence of where my work is: to allow the pain I feel when I compare my friends' paths with mine to guide me toward what I truly want for myself--and then to build my own life proudly. This year, I hope to make decisions that will lead me down the path that is right for me, and to do it knowing that my life also deserves to be celebrated, even if it looks different from other people's. I can make my path into one worth traveling.
Best wishes to all of you as we start the new year. May 5777 be a year of growth for us all!