Out Of The Fire: Hello 2014

by Monica McCarthy on January 2, 2014


Happy New Year!

How are you feeling right now? Excited? Nervous? Scared? Hungover? Personally, I feel simultaneously optimistic, overwhelmed and over-caffeinated. I’m gearing up for Monday, when vacation is officially over for the rest of the world and all bets are off. Most of the preparation is work related, with the remainder devoted to personal development and mapping out the next 365 364 days.

Though I chose not to write a Year-In-Review post, I did reflect on my word from 2013 while pondering my word for 2014. (Do you dedicate a word to the year? If so, I’d love to hear yours in the comments below.)

2013 was my year to IGNITE. As the crystal ball dropped and the confetti fell, I wrote:

The time for anxious contemplation and testing the waters is over. Now is the time to dive in. I’d rather end the year exhausted than bored. I’d rather look back on memories than what-ifs.…

2012 offered the match. Ready or not, 2013 is time to ignite.

Lesson: Be careful what you wish for.

As it turns out, I didn’t just light the fire, I watched as nearly everything which had previously felt familiar burned to the ground. Entering 2014, this begs the question: How can you build something substantial from a pile of dust? The short answer is: You can’t.

There is only one way out of the embers:


“You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame;

how could you rise anew if you have not first become ashes?”

― Friedrich Nietzsche

Like the legend of the Phoenix, 2014 is the year I experience rebirth. This is both thrilling and terrifying. Creating something from (almost) nothing is no simple feat, and so it is I find myself setting goals that have more long-term vision than in the past. Some of these goals stem from necessity, while others spring out of desire. The common thread among them is they require deliberate action, continuous momentum, and intense focus to get off the ground.  

While most of my peers are choosing words that offer ease and simplicity (which is perfect for them), my word is more battle cry than hymn. And when the going gets tough, as it surely will, it is helpful for me to remember that with the rise of the Phoenix comes the spirit of hope and redemption.

The most glorious moments in your life are not the so-called days of success, but rather those days when out of dejection and despair you feel rise in you a challenge to life, and the promise of future accomplishments.

~ Gustave Flaubert

While we’re on the subject of “future” I’ll confess another reason I aim to RISE this year: In my heart of hearts, despite (or perhaps because of) what has come before, I’m looking forward to the day I’ll be ready and able to spread my wings, glide with the wind, and SOAR.

“We never know how high we are till we are called to rise.

Then if we are true to form our statures touch the skies.”

~Emily Dickinson

Wherever you are, I wish you a 2014 above and beyond your wildest dreams.

I can’t thank you enough for being a part of mine.