In 2010, I have moved away from home. Really moved, not down the street, not into the city where I can drive home when I get homesick, but moved away. A thousand miles away. I've also dealt with some friend-situations I might not have handled well a year before, like two mutual friends having a messy breakup and getting back together. Currently I'm watching a good friend go through something I can't publicly discuss, but were it not for the things I've learned this year, I wouldn't have been ready to be there for them. And I've dealt with some internal changes and epiphanies I wasn't ready for in 2009.
Ah, but then in 2009, I gave up a well-paying job because it wasn't healthy for me, I began spending lots of time around unschoolers, and I lost my mom. I wasn't ready for those things in 2008. (I wasn't ready to lose my mom ever, but if it had happened in 2008, things would have been a lot, lot, lot worse.)
And what of you, 2008? I spent two weeks in Arizona, I sorta-halfway had a girlfriend, I became part of the unschooling community, gave up my dreams of being a teacher because I realized they were in conflict with my values, then (perhaps hypocritically) I went back into the school system as a teacher's aide, working a really challenging job that I could NOT have done in 2007...
...a year in which I came out of the closet, worked in an office, finished my AA degree, lived in a dorm, lost a favorite great-aunt, and worked as a caregiver for a kid with severe disabilities, who died just as I was getting to know him. Definitely couldn't have handled that stuff in 2006...
...when I broke up with my then-boyfriend, got my first paying job, became a Unitarian-Universalist, and accepted myself once-and-for-all as queer. I wasn't ready for that stuff in 2005.
Have these years been easy? Not really.
Were they painful? Extremely.
Were they fun? Oh hell yes.
But what stands out to me the most is that, when I follow my instincts and my interests, they almost always lead me to the tools and resources I will need to deal with the next challenge.
Even when I'm not exactly where I want to be, I am Exactly Where I Need To Be. I am always growing, always learning.
And so are you.