I am and am not the same person I was a year ago.
I am still in this apartment. I am still messy. I love to cook, to write, to read everything. I love my husband more than I can ever say or ever tell him, and that was just as true last year, but more so because it keeps growing, and that part hasn't changed either.
I am still in the same job, although the job has changed a little.
I am still feeling my way in my religious observance. I will probably always do that, too.
I still spend too much money on books and comics.
I am also different, and that is good because change is good. Despite what my husband says. The biggest change is the pa-kua, the martial arts. I've learned that my body can *move*. It can stretch further than I thought possible, it can fall and hit and kick and move gracefully. I am strong. I am confident in my abilities. I can accept discipline and I can center myself. I can work through pain. I can live in my body.
My thighs and upper arms have muscular definition.
My body looks different. It's still round and soft, and it probably always will be, but there is muscle underneath.
I'm writing again. Not just the birthday stories I love to write, but a long, plotted real story that I can feel flowing out of my fingertips. I haven't had that in years, and it feels like - like executing a perfect set of 24 movements.
I'm doing more religiously - saying daily prayers that I'd neglected, saying the morning blessings I've never done, learning again, reading works I'd never thought I'd want to. I'm finding my physical center; my spiritual center needs tending as well. This is not an extension of where I was last year - last year I was pretty much coasting. This year, I feel the change.
I don't know where I'll be next year. Praying three times a day, or back to none. Still where I am at home or work, or holding an adopted baby in my arms. Or working towards my black belt and teaching other women how their bodies can do more than they knew, or teaching other women how much meaning there can be in the plain text of the Torah. Or writing a novel all my own.