December is a contradictory month for me. The impending new year introduces a sense of renewal but, essentially, another year is expiring at the hands of time. I always feel overcome with holiday cheer and tradition as we all inhale the scent of fresh pine and make our own light. But, there’s also a hint of goodbye hovering in the crisp air.

Who we were isn’t who we are now or necessarily who we’ll stay and that’s both intriguing and terrifying.


I know there are broken hearts huddled in the sleeves of favorite sweaters. There are regrets echoing in the blank spaces between verses of familiar, festive songs. There are ghosts seen within merry, busy crowds — versions of past selves. I know we can celebrate despite the cold and decorate the empty places we hold on to and remember how to expect miracles. But, can we welcome change with the same excited joy?

I know this world we live in, this life we’re given, is unwrapped with shameless haste. Sometimes the serrated edges we’ve folded and taped down come undone too soon. Sometimes we’re not the gift someone else thought we could be. Sometimes we’re lost within the pile under the tree. But, regardless, we’re always at the threshold of something special, something new.

It’s surprising, but there’s warmth in certain shadows. There are lessons in mistakes we haven’t made. There’s a story we still have to tell — and maybe it’s nothing too drastic, maybe it’s just a different way home or wanting something more or realizing we can walk away from the hurt we feel anchored to.

“Different” is a present we shouldn’t be afraid to be open to.

There’s something about the end of things that’s inevitably upsetting. Being cracked open isn’t a process meant to be careful or easy at all. But, undergoing a transformation can be transfixing. We change everyday. We change our minds. We change directions. We change each other. We aren’t once a year. We aren’t fixed to right now, right here. We aren’t the ones concluding.

… don’t we deserve to stand at the brink of this clearing and feel brave despite the way we shake?

So, don’t we deserve to stand at the brink of this clearing and feel brave despite the way we shake? To forgive the crucial moments that have staked a place in our lives and learn to love the permanent mark they’ve left? To pull away from the dust that’s been collecting on our shoulders and lips all this time; to step out of these woods we were hunting our own hearts within?

Starting over can look like wide, open space. The dark between stars. A stretch of open road. Ocean waves, infinitely peaking and sloping. Beginning again isn’t a trap or a locked wrought iron gate. It’s the deep breaths and big steps we’re already taking.

What are you excited to step into (or out of) in the coming year?

Image via Rebekah J. Murray on Flicker


  1. This is beautiful. And such a timely reminder for me. Stepping into joy and out of bitterness is the thing I am most excited for as we walk into this next year. It’s a journey, but one well worth taking.

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