We find ourselves at the beginning of another new year. Without much effort, it could feel a lot like the years that have just past. I very much hope for a different outcome. Experiencing differently, though, requires doing differently. To that end, I am stepping out of my comfort zone and shifting gears a little bit as we go forward. Part of the reason for that shift is professional, without question. Some if it is also very personal, as I challenge myself to take on new experiences and show up in different ways than I have in the past.
We are entering into the final days of 2021. It has been a whirlwind and a roller coaster. The year has felt interminable, and it has gone by in the blink of an eye. There has been hope and there has been frustration. There have been a few successes along the way, and not an inconsiderable number of setbacks. As I reflect on my own year, I can honestly say that I have accomplished more than I might have expected, and leave the year with a positive stance. That outcome was not always a certainty.
Once again, we approach the close of the year. 2021 has been a difficult and awkward year for many, myself included. Despite that, it has arguably been one of my best writing years yet. A lot of what I have written is personal. Much of it is heart-felt, if not heart-wrenching. Many of the messages and conclusions I arrive at are important for myself to pay attention to, let alone anyone else joining me on this journey. What follows is an exploration of your favourite writing of the year, as well as mine. In most things there is alignment, but there are a few outliers along the way as well.
We are all familiar with the expression “the elephant in the room.” It is something that I have come to expect and even seek out when facilitating others. The reality, though, is that we each have our own personal pachyderms that dutifully follow us through life and haunt our work. The longer that we put off doing things, the more that we defer problems and the longer that we avoid pursuing our goals and ambitions, the larger and more omnipresent becomes the grey mammoth in our grey matter. You can learn to make the elephant go away. First, though, you need to recognize it for what it is, and what it represents.
I seem to have a bit of a thing for metaphors lately. Particularly metaphors of exploration. This week, I found myself challenged in ways that I haven’t been previously on several fronts that I currently lack sufficient expertise. Any one challenge might have been daunting. Encountering all of them at once was downright intimidating. That put me in mind of a movie that I once loved. In that, I began to find some answers.
“Going down the rabbit hole,” has come to take on an entirely different meaning than perhaps Lewis Carroll implied. It is now where we go to get lost in the twists, tangents and tributaries of the internet, often emerging hours later not quite remembering what we started looking for in the first place. The rabbit hole that is the internet doesn’t have to be a place of procrastination and lack of productivity (although you may prefer it that way, and I choose not to judge). The key is knowing what you are looking for and how to productively sort it out (while perhaps leaving a trail of metaphorical breadcrumbs behind you).