New Year | Transition

2014 transition Jackie Pfeffer

This week I have a little New Years series for you with a couple of guest posts (yesterday’s was a look at some of 2014’s surprises), some thoughts of my own, and a round up of this year’s most popular posts. Today I have my pal Jac, a lifestyle photographer and the editor/curator of thePfotoShop. Her essays always make me want to write (and live) better. This essay of hers has spawned tomorrow’s post, which is all about my word for 2015.2014 transition Jackie PfefferWhen I was twenty-two, I drove the lonely eight hours to Norfolk, Virginia, where my sister was having a conference. She lived in California at the time and we rarely saw one another, and the road has a history of being therapeutic for me – something that, at that point in time, on the heels of a pretty terrible breakup, I desperately needed.

I passed the time with Elizabeth Gilbert’s own reading of her memoir, Eat Pray Love. The movie was coming out soon, and I have a rule about reading books before seeing their adaptations – something I picked up from my Mom as a kid. I wasn’t expecting to love the book as much as I did – in fact, I half-expected to be one of the many cynics in the wake of its success. As I drove down quiet, rural 13, and she spoke words of loss, and depression, and fear, and spirituality, I heard many of my own feelings perfectly articulated in her words.

There is a part in the book where she says that different periods of life can be defined by specific words, and that the time she wrote about in hers was “attraversiamo,” meaning “let’s cross over” in Italian.

As a new year approaches, I’m spending a lot of time reflecting on the previous one, and with that comes the designation a new word. In the past, I’ve used independence, success, and adventure (a personal favorite), among others.

2014 began with the best thing that has ever happened to me, and was shortly followed by the greatest devastation I have ever felt. The affects of both events are so intertwined, each affecting my approaches to the other. Their togetherness has created in me a balance of extremes. How does one sum up such a year of simultaneous celebration and mourning?

Transition (n.) – change, often major.

I’m about to drive route 13 again. This time though, I’m traveling in the opposite direction, and I won’t be driving it alone.

Maybe 2014 brought you success, or adventure, heartache or healing, or maybe a new found focus on family. Maybe, like me, you find yourself in limbo after a year of transition.  As we welcome a new beginning in 2015, take some time to look back – what word would you choose?

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