We're coming up to the end of the 1st quarter of 2012. For my friends in financial places, the next few weeks are going to be filled with fiscal year-end madness, so I'm sending up a prayer for y'all today! At my old job, tons of reports and documents were due at quarter's end (and I usually had a nice bonus to look forward to), so I'm still in the practice of re-evaluating goals and making new plans at times like this.
In my phone, I have a Notes app where I have a running "Random Thoughts" page. I was looking over those musings today - quotes, song titles, and completely random, nonsensical thoughts - and found a quote from Zora Neale Hurston that I remember posting as a Facebook status at the beginning of the year:
"There are years that ask questions and years that answer."
You ain't neva lied, Ms. Zora.
At the beginning of 2012, I had no idea which kind of year this one would be. How could it be one or the other? Don't questions and answers go hand in hand? If I ask a question on Monday, won't I get an answer by Tuesday? With my previously rigid way of thinking, I was intrigued by the quote, but didn't know how a year could be either or. Well, at the end of this 1st quarter of 2012, I think I'm starting to see what Zora meant.
At this point in the year, I feel like 2012 will be a year that answers questions for me. In so many areas of my life right now, I know exactly what I want. I'm always going to be on a journey to find the things that fulfill me, challenge me, and make me happy - but this year just feels different. I have more purpose with my soul-searching, and I'm starting to find that balance between knowing when to make an air-tight plan and when to just sit back and let things flow.
Do I know what answers I'm going to get? Do I know which order they'll come in? As much as I would like to, my control-freak self is coming to terms with that fact that I just don't know. What I do know is that a few key things are going to help me move towards the answers that I'm looking for.
I'm putting myself out there. You can't expect someone to hand something to you all the time - you have to go out and get it. I'm getting out of my comfort zone and trying new things, meeting new people, and making an effort to do the things that previously scared me. Not everything is a slam dunk and not everyone is here to support me, but a lot more things have worked out in my favour, and I'm getting to where I want to be in life.
I have a plan, and the ambition and drive to back it up. I used to fall too easily into victim mentality. Things didn't go right, or someone did me wrong, and I'd fall into a funk. I spent more time perseverating on the fact that things sucked, and didn't spend enough (or any) time to make a plan on how I would make things better. I tweeted the other day that nowadays, I limit my window for panic when I'm faced with an obstacle, and make a serious effort to say to myself (sometimes out loud), "Ok. So what are you going to do about it?" I have plans for my obstacles, but I also have plans for what I want to accomplish with my writing, my day job, my family, my marriage, my physical health, and other things. Having a firm (but not concrete - my next point will explain) plan helps me to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I'm filled with a drive I didn't know I possessed. I'm going to get somewhere, and I'm going to get my answers. I won't have it any other way.
I'm moving from rigid-box mentality to flexible-shape mentality. I have a habit of being too concrete with things at times. This has to happen first, then this can happen second, and this can happen third. My heavily calculated way of thinking garnered me a lot of success throughout life, but I'm finding now that it's not working so well. The older you get, the more variables you encounter. I'm working on realizing that even though I'd like my goals to fit in a neat and tidy square box, that box may bend, expand, and turn into a hexagon or a circle. I'm learning to let things happen sometimes, trust myself and my capabilities, and understand that my plans may change shape and become something even grander than I imagined. Sometimes the best things happen when you just let them happen, and I try to remember that within my tendency to over-plan.
As I reflect back on Zora Neale Hurston's quote, I definitely feel that at this point in the year, Bee will be getting some answers in 2012. Have you ever felt like you're on the precipice of the next phase of your life? I'm feeling like I'm moving on to a huge new chapter, and in order to do that, clarity is necessary. I look forward to the new questions that will arise as I go through my journeys, but this year is all about the answers I've been seeking for a long time.
Thanks for obliging me with this little personal post, y'all! What do you say? When you consider Zora's quote, is 2012 a year that asks questions or answers them? Still too early to tell? Does the quote even make sense to you? Let me know what you think!