As I sat in my studio this morning scrolling through pictures, gazing out the window, sipping coffee, I realized this was one of the first, if not the first morning I woke up and my first thought didn’t go to guilt, remorse, a pit in my stomach. I woke up different. I woke up a little changed.

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First thought: who does what for school today?
Second thought: how much time do I have to write?
Third thought: I’m a shop owner!

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It felt different. It felt right. It felt like moving forward and embracing the life I’ve been given. Stepping into the new with a little grace and dignity.

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I can’t move forward while carrying the past with me.

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I’d like to shed what was, what could have been, what if…

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They don’t serve me. How far back in time would one need to travel to change the outcome of one’s life? It is an impossible question. Change one thing and you change it all. You would never wind up in the same place with a slightly different outcome. I’ve watched enough Doctor Who to know this.

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I want to embrace all that I have been given in the last year. I want more time in my studio creating papers, art, journals. More time to sell in my shop and own a small business. I want more time to write, fiction and non, blog posts, and small stories. I want more time in my camper, hiking, slowing to see the wonders of nature, and all that makes earth beautiful.

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I can’t fully embrace all of these gifts without laying aside what was, what could have been, what if.

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I don’t pretend this is an easy task. I don’t even pretend to know what I am doing. The last several weeks have felt heavy, too heavy to carry at times, I thought I might cave and quit. I wanted to disappear into the darkness. I’ve not processed it all. I don’t know if I’ll process it well. I’m not sure what I will walk away with when I do.

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I do know yesterday shifted my life and today I stepped into that. I do know I can make choices, I can allow myself the space to feel what I feel, I can also choose to not let them swallow me whole. 2020 has turned into the year of self-discovery. It has forced me to pivot where I was, where I was going, what I was doing, and shift into the new, the new I was allowed to create.