Beauty and Terror: Looking Back on 2015

“Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

2015 has been nothing short of extraordinary—breath-catching beauty and a thousand moments of contentedness have been spiced by flashes of angst and uncertainty.

It seems like it was just this morning—and also a century ago—that I decided to leave New York. The reasons for departure were many, but one that rises to the top was a desire to self-disrupt my path and venture into a different way of life—one that allows more time for loved ones and more time to explore the world.

In six months this year, I visited six continents and saw the world in a magic fluidity I’ve never known. Nowhere and everywhere became home. Everything was new and everything was familiar. Everyone was a stranger and everyone a friend. The world was transformed into a navigable, cozy, enthralling wonderland.

Over the course of six months, I reunited with more than 100 friends and family members. It was reunion after blessed reunion. It was laughter and hugging and reminiscing. It was connecting in a way that smudges souls together. It was filling up my heart’s every corner with love for the remarkable humans in my life. It was a soul so full of gratitude there was barely room left to breathe.

It was a slowed-down, detail-rich, sparks-of-happiness-flying-everywhere kind of year.

Still, in this world where there is a ying for every yang, there were also several days of white knuckles and tight guts. There were plenty of holy-[insert expletive]-what-have-I-done moments.

Selling everything and quitting a job mid-career is a move so far off the beaten path that there were several moments of feeling shockingly lost—the kind of lost a toddler feels when he can’t find his parents at a carnival. There were moments of total panic and several thoughts of: well, it’s all over now.

I’m back to equilibrium now, still uncertain of what the future holds, but steadied by gratitude for the past year and curiously excited about what’s to come.

2015 is definitely a year for the books, a year of emotions expanded and boundaries redrawn. I have followed Rilke’s advice to “go to the limits of your longing.”

Here's to wishing for a 2016 full of new limits, nethermost spaces that hold the very best of what it is to be human—beauty and terror and all the magic in between.