“Dip your serenity in serendipity and let the surprise be your prize”
This will be the fourth year that I shall choose a word to focus on for the coming year, and once again I invite my blog followers to do the same. Choose one word that sums up what you want to be or how you want to live for the next 365+ days — a word to shape your year and become a compass to direct you. My word for last year was serenity, and I have to be honest that it took many weeks into the year to start walking in the truth of that word as I was dealing with some very stressful external circumstances, which were very isolating. I am grateful it was out of a place of serenity that I was able to create the first draft of my thesis young adult novel over the summer months.
As I head into my fourth and final semester of my MFA at Stony Brook (two years passes in a twinkle!) I am plowing through revisions to have my thesis submission-ready in a few months. I am also back job-hunting and, in the process, looking for a miraculous opening. Thus my word for 2015 shall be SERENDIPITY.
I want to unpack this lovely word a little, as I hope it will be helpful to some of you. Let’s start with a dictionary definition of serendipity — An unsought, unintended, and/or unexpected, but fortunate, discovery and/or learning experience that happens by accident. There is an active component in this definition of finding something good while looking for something else, which requires a focused, spirited attitude to life. We are active participants in the creation of our lives. So, we need to embrace this creative power, and choose to put ourselves out there so that we can be in the right place at the right time.
My job goals are more optimistic than realistic, but my gut tells me they are worth believing in, just as my challenging goal to come and live in New York was. At times, my hope feels stupid. But if I keep persevering, I’m going to be in the right place at the right time and accomplish some mind-blowing feats. Right?! It’s the most important reason why I should keep persevering — because tomorrow might be the day where I find myself standing at the right place at the right time. In my mind, serendipity works hand in hand with persistence, i.e., listening to, and trusting, one’s own heart, believing in one’s own abilities, and being clear about one’s goals. It’s not about pre-planning every step of my life or waiting for life to hand me everything, but mindful serendipity is embracing all encounters and opening myself to unexpected connections.
I believe there are a couple of keys to allowing serendipity to work in our lives. Firstly, we need to take off our blinders and begin to see connections between seemingly unrelated events and people. Secondly, we often need to take chances/risks and put ourselves out there, trusting the universe will open doors if we are willing for out-of-the-box thinking. I do feel many of my encounters over the past four years as a writer have been serendipitous as I reentered a purposeful and pulsating life flow. Serendipity is certainly the traveler’s ally, but I believe it can be an ally to us all.
Wishing you all some wonderful surprises in 2015, and that I get to meet even more of you in real life! Please do share your word for the year in the comments.
Let me leave you with a poem I wrote at the end of last year:
Time is our gift.
With the waxing and waning of every moon,
let us not lose ourselves so deeply in routine that we miss that which is important and wondrous on our journey.
The seasons are also a gift.
A new year reaches to us through an open door with the offer
of a new beginning.
If you are broken – let melodious, healing words
sooth your wounds this year.
If you’re stumbling under self doubt – may confidence and focus explode into your new year. If you are lonely – reach for a year of serendipitous encounters. If you know it is time for change – cling to the courage that is yours to move forward into this new year.
As for me, I suspect mine will always be the open road;
the road less traveled;
still learning to let go of surplus clutter;
embrace the challenges,
and set my eyes upon the rising sun.
December 30th, 2013, ©JoannaMarple