So here we are …
Three hundred sixty one days into the year 2021. A time of year when we’re bright-eyed and bushy-tailed about turning the page on what has been, so we can create who it is we wish to become.
I see it differently.
While I’m just as enthused about turning pages and closing chapters, I see these waning days of 2021 as a reckoning. A time to celebrate my wins and to also allow myself to fully experience my disappointments.
Because for most of us, including myself, the person we swore we would become this year is not who we are today.
We began the year swearing an oath to become who we knew we could be, only to end the year drafting fresh plans to redeem ourselves for our perjuries.
For our lies we are sentenced to this sense of disappointment. But only if we allow ourselves to feel it instead of pushing it away. By taking a moment to stop and imagine making it to the final day of 2021 and getting to meet yourself. The person that, 361 days ago, you so resolutely aspired to become.
The person you meet at the end of each year can be your twin — the person you said you’d be. The two of you high-five, embrace, and congratulate each other for a 2021 well done. For using your 5,840 waking hours to do what you said you would do.
Or you can suffer the harsh sentence of meeting a stranger. Where you —the person you are on the eve of the new year — meets the person you could have become. This time there are no high-fives. No embrace. No eye contact. Just regret for the time that was wasted. For the things you didn’t do. For your word that wasn’t kept.
Just when you thought this awkward annual get-together was coming to an end, you see shadows and hear voices coming up behind you. You slowly turn around to be confronted by of all the people you could have helped. The lives you could have touched.
They want answers. They want to know why you sold them out for near-nonstop scrolling and streaming; why you didn’t develop your skills; why you didn’t show up for them like you said you would.
This is how I end every year. Facing the reckoning. Imagining myself meeting the self I said I would become and using my sense of joy or disappointment as a measuring stick for how the past 365 have gone.
More twin, less stranger?
Or more stranger, less twin?
This year is definitely the latter. ‘Twas the year of excessive comfort. Of getting an unexpected podcasting contract. Of working and serving a lot less, because “I didn’t have to.”
Yuck. Who am I?
But I knew this day would come. The reckoning. And I don’t like how it feels. At all.
There’s a chance you don’t like how you feel about yours either. Use those feelings. Use them as fuel for next time. For next year. For your next annual meet-up with your twin … or your stranger.
Who are you?
Today on the podcast, we kick off our Best of 2021 series with Ed Mylett who shares an unforgettable story about the twin and the stranger, of heaven and hell.
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