I’ve often said the eyes can tell no lies.
It’s the way my family looks at me when I tell an inside joke; the ability to read my boyfriend’s mind from across the room; the tactic my dog turns to so I’ll cave in and give her a bite of my food.
Holding eye contact with someone can provide reassurance that we are seen. But as someone who manifests a version of myself based on that look in the eyes of those I love, I’m terrified I’ll blink and miss what they see in me.
This past year, however, has given me unexpected hindsight to view 2023 with.
I’ll be the first to admit I almost never approach life with rose-colored lenses. If anything, my usual inclination to expect the worst very well could have caused a muddied 2022 to seep into 2023.
So while I don’t cling to the idea of healing crystals, astrological aptness or palm reading, I worked to actively manifest not only seeing the capability others saw in me, but believing it.
I took things slow with the very basic, not-at-all-chaotic manifestation to learn how to ride a bike in New York.
Patience does not come wrapped and tied up in a bow for me, so failing as an adult trying to learn a skill most children already mastered felt like a flop. For my boyfriend, patience must have been the only thing keeping him from losing faith that I could get the bicycle wheels to not bonk into building walls.
I got frustrated and probably lost some pride — something my manifesting didn’t really account for. But the way he looked at me as though I was magical while breaking an ugly sweat in a helmet left no room for hanging up my bicycling career. I owe him my gratitude for still looking at me in 2023 with that same belief in my potential after he witnessed me fumble through the concrete jungle.
What’s scarier than navigating a big city at my rookie ranking? I would probably say dancing on stage for the first time in years before a packed audience in Zellerbach Hall.
Toward the end of 2022, my family knew I would be dancing after a time in my life with many hospital stays and chronic pains, without the body I once felt so familiar with. The look of worry in the eyes of my parents and brothers made sense. I knew they could see too, though, that I would perform on stage once more — and perform I did.
Now, in 2023, they have less concern for whether I can dance in front of an audience again than whether there are enough tickets to see me when I do. This look in their eyes simply defines itself with one word: pride. Even when I saw my reflection and felt an inevitable need to protect what ability felt lost, my family looked at me and recognized I could nurture what grew from the ground up.
You can bet this new year will see the same me on stage again — feeling even more at peace with the mover I am this time around.
So what’s the most shocking manifestation of 2022 that I’ve hauled into this year with me? Just ask Olivia Rodrigo.
While I didn’t get my driver’s license last week like we always talked about, I did get it this past December. This feat had been years in the making, with its delay stemming from a combination of health obstacles and mental blocks. In addition to my dad, family and boyfriend all looking forward to my success, I can confirm my dog told me she was banking on this particular manifestation.
Every so often she gets to “go bye-bye,” which means her passenger-princess dreams come true. In the past I never could take her for car rides myself, but I did have the immense pleasure of looking at the sun in her eyes as she stuck her floppy ears out the window. If human eyes revealed secrets, then her canine orbs told entire tales of doggy bliss.
Of course, I had to manifest driving her — even if it involved a mixed-feelings visit to the vet.
The time hasn’t quite come for me to chauffeur her around, but I very much see in the near future me behind the wheel, her same eyes taking in the passing world with the windows down and smells all around.
Even if all the looks in these eyes I’ve built my manifestations on could feign belief in me, three truths remain that I take with me going forward: I have more skills to flex than a year ago, so much love for my support system and, no doubt, my dog sees me as an absolute legend. If that isn’t manifesting my dreams into reality, then I don’t know what is.