How Do You Measure A Year?

Today marks the 1-year anniversary of my departure from America to live my new nomadic life. I’ve been searching all morning for clever ways to write about the year gone by and my inspiration is low.

I’ve been playing with words for hours, risking being repetitive and self-serving if I talk about the struggles, the obstacles, the changes, the high and the lows of the last 12 months.

In one way or another, over the last year I have shed it all. I’ve divulged on this blog, and on my social media outlets, typing furiously through tears and agony to my friends, to strangers, to anyone that would listen.

I told people I had just met the story over and over again of how I quit my life, how I chose to start over, how I left it all behind in pursuit of love and happiness. And it overflowed in my everyday actions, witnessed only by Jorge, my constant soundboard/punching bag/ supporter, who talked me off the ledge and convinced me that packing my bags and running away was just an impulsive reflex.

I’m left now with little words to give merit to the time gone by. I had imagined I would have some poetic and inspiring prose to celebrate the mere fact that I had lived 365 days in a manner so foreign to me that it often seemed that it couldn’t possibly be my life.

But instead all that lives in me to share is a settled and subtle contentment; an observation of not what has happened up until now, but what IS right now.

The year-long identity crisis I struggled from is no longer at the forefront of my thoughts and daily actions.  What I’ve seen instead is that everything in my new life that seemed so chaotic and out of control has begun to settle and my internal and external resistance to it all has begun to settle.

That settling has left me being able to experience more fully the current moment, and the reality of what my life is right here, right now, without over examining what it took to get me here.

Simultaneously and very naturally, the new identity I so desperately sought after emerged. I’ve tipped the scales back and forth in both directions to find the perfect balance between ‘Marina of New Jersey’ and ‘Marina of the World.’

My newfound persona doesn’t need to worry about the pressures of my old life, instead I have complete freedom to live my experiences fully, to experience moments fully, and then recreate those moments for others.

I recognize that the last year’s journey served a significant role in shaping who I am now, but if I keep reliving those same lessons, I will never really be living in my growth or able to move forward.

So with the deepest gratitude, I honor and release the year gone by.

And just before my monkey mind starts jumping to the shiny bright future ahead, I pause and I say to myself, “You are right here, right now, and THIS is where you belong.”