Catharsis

I love to start over.

In fact, I’ll do it right now:

Yesterday was my 27th birthday.  I’m not big on birthdays in the “celebration” sense, but I’m huge on reflecting, reassessing, amassing and incorporating the year’s lessons.

It’s something about turning over a new leaf, opening a fresh moleskine, grabbing the watershed and promising that today is different–catharsis is addiction, really.

Catharsis puts enormous pressure on every step.  Identity becomes tied up in the idea that today is the first day of the rest of my life, which separates today from yesterday.  And the problem with this approach is that the slightest misstep will in turn separate today from tomorrow.

Catharsis severs coherent progression.  It forces an actor to consider short-term implications without exhaling, looking at a big picture, and moving forward deliberately in a way that’s sustainable.

For years I found my birth date completely apt.  It falls on Thanksgiving, the beginning of the holiday season, leaving me just enough time for me to amass and incorporate lessons before making New Years Resolutions (my #1 favorite catharsis opp).

This year, while I am seeking perspective on hindsight I’m also denying myself that “catharsis” urge.  I’m tempted to lop off the limbs that seem unsturdy.  Instead, I’ve decided to nurture those weak areas.  I’m really trying to hammer down what I should have learned by now.

I find it unsettling to give up this crutch that has served me for so long.  But I’m satisfied to clamber forward with the identity and person I’ve got.  I’m happy to resist the urge to lop and focus instead on doing my best to enrich.  It’s as simple as taking responsibility for my name and working on the front end–rather than scrambling to backpedal after the fact–to protect it.

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