Word of the Year 2021: Embrace

One of the things I like to do at the start of each year is to pick a word to work with. Last year, I chose the word “Transform” and boy, oh boy, I had no idea what that can of worms would involve. I certainly transformed as a person, the world transformed before our eyes (although there is a strong argument that nothing changed, we simply saw what was always there), and my life transformed as well. Some of my personal highlights included getting engaged, getting married, and finding out we were expecting our first child- if those events aren’t transformational I don’t know what is. I also had a ton of plans for UYC last year that simply did not come to fruition because of everything that happened in 2020, both in the world and personally.

I think that when we choose a word of the year and actively work with it, our understanding of that word deepens in a magical way. My understanding of Transform certainly shifted as the events of last year unfolded. I thought that last year would have a greater focus on yarn and transforming fiber from one thing to another, pretty basic to be honest. Then we had covid transform the lives of all of us suddenly; our in person lives transformed before our eyes and online presence has meant so much more than it has ever before. We also had the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, which has led to a new level of activism and anti-racism awareness around the world. This transformation, while incredibly painful, will bring good changes to both personal lives and policy changes so long as we collectively are willing to continuously push for these changes.

Obviously I do not know what 2021 will hold, but I do know two things: one is that our baby will come into the world and the other is that I will embrace whatever the year brings. Simply by the nature of being a first time mother, I know my life will transform again this year but I have no idea how. My goal is to embrace those changes with grace. I am the first to admit that I did not embrace the many changes that last year brought with grace that I would like to have seen from myself. This is not to say that I was not grateful for the changes or that I didn’t embrace them, just that I would like to flow with those changes more.

She told me that she had been present everyday with me and my sister as we were growing up.

As our family grows this year, I want to embrace this new phase of my life completely. Each day I want to embrace my family and remember how lucky I am. If 2020 taught me anything, it is not to take hugs and closeness to people for granted. Something that my mother said when I graduated high school and was “leaving the nest” that struck me, was that she was not sad to see me grow up and move out. She told me that she had been present everyday with me and my sister as we were growing up and because of that she had no wishes to go back in time and relive those moments. I see this as embracing the moment fully and that is what I aspire to when stepping into this new phase.

In the past two months, I have stepped back from social media (and even longer when it comes to the blog) in order to mourn my old life. This is not to say that I am not happy and excited for this new phase to begin, but I have been present with my emotions about stepping into the unknown. I have likened pregnancy to a second puberty on more than one occasion and I stand by that analogy when thinking about how at the end of puberty you step into a new life of adulthood. At the end of pregnancy, we step into the new life of parenthood. Just like a graduating student I am excited, scared, elated, and sad for these changes. I don’t think this is an unusual experience for new parents- please let me know how you felt as you entered the new phase of parenting in the comments. All I can do is to embrace these changes as they come each day.

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