My New New Year


I’ve recently been learning a lot about Samhain (SAH-win), the pagan new year. It falls on the evening of October 31st and goes into November 1. This holiday celebrates the harvest of the summer’s abundance and marks the death of the earth as it folds into winter. For me, marking the new year at this time feels more natural, more in line with the seasonal rhythms of Minnesota.

The past twelve months have been both the most painfully difficult and the most wonderfully transformational of my life so far. Surprise, surprise, those two always seem to go together, don’t they? It was actually in late October last year that I moved in with my boyfriend at the time. It felt like a new beginning. I sensed that I was entering into a new phase of life, that things would be forever different. We settled into and adorned our sweet, little apartment together. By Thanksgiving, we were engaged.

We began the journey of living together, the joys and the struggles of it. Picking out a Christmas tree together for the first time, adopting a kitten, throwing parties, and running errands on sunny Saturday mornings. These small joys were blissful, but I was also fighting a lurking demon of deep uncertainty about our relationship. For me, the winter was full of inner turmoil, and I didn’t find my footing until March, right around Easter, when I called off the wedding and ended our relationship. Believe me, the symbolism of rebirth is not lost on me. But a painful labor it was.

And here I am, a full year later. Six months of trying to force myself into the box I had created for myself and then six months of healing from the fallout of an agonizing decision.

It’s time to make my peace with this year, thank it for all that it’s taught me, feel deep gratitude for all of its blessings, and release it. I’m ready to do this, but I also know that I’ll be feeling echoes of this past year as we take another turn around the sun. It’s very possible that I won’t be able to release this experience completely until we’ve reached the spring equinox again.

I cannot wait to see what new opportunities and new blessings come my way in this new year. I’m slowly learning how to let go of control, doubt, and fear. And, as ever, I’ll keep repeating these words as I did in my lowest moments:

I love myself. I trust myself. I forgive myself.


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