Yesterday, I took the dogs for a walk. Rain and snow had left the road covered in a treacherous mixture of wet asphalt and black ice. Areas where shadows remained the day before still retained white ice spread across the road, and snow coated the edges.
I navigated my usual easy walk with caution, stepping firmly onto the asphalt just in case a hidden icy patch lingered. When I could easily see the ice, I scooted over to the side of the road where the rough blend of ice and snow would anchor my stride. Using this method, I fulfilled my duty to the pups, and managed to only slip once and then on the mud in my own lawn.
As I navigated that road, though, I thought of my road through this past year. The areas where I could stride easily, where the road was wet, but not icy. The times when I thought ease was apparent, but the invisible ice tumbled me onto my butt.
I realized that I have mostly kept to the side of the road, where the ice and snow formed a rough surface that kept me from falling. The rougher road made my journey more secure by giving my feet something to hold onto. And navigating that challenging surface made my legs stronger and more able to hold me upright.
Our challenges do that for us. They strengthen us as we near our goals, making us able to meet those dreams with dedication.
At the cusp of this new year, this 2021 which everyone is welcoming, I feel a little trepidation. The dreams I had for 2020 still linger. The bits I want to leave behind seem too large to shrug off. I do know this: this next year is about transformation – meeting the next stage of my life with bravery and dedication to my mission.
There will be times when I think the road is clear, and the next thing I know I’ll be skidding on black ice. There will be times when the road is merely wet and I’ll stride easily. And there will be times that I avoid slipping by traveling where the ice and snow have provided a rough surface for my feet to cling to.
And that is all I know about 2021 – my year of transformation. My year of waking up and moving out and moving on. I’m looking forward to striking out on my own, to taking my life in my own hands, to creating a life that I want to live.