years that answer


"There are years that ask questions and years that answer." 

- Zora Neale Hurston

I'd like to think that I'm always trying to improve myself and so in that sense, I don't really do "New Year's resolutions." But I do think it's wise to look back at the year and take inventory of what has happened. I especially like to do this on trips because it's nice to be away from home and have the chance to literally "look back."

A few weeks ago, I took a walk down Navy Pier and did some soul-searching about this year and then a couple of nights ago, I laid awake in bed and pondered some things that have been bugging me. I walked away from both these moments with some insights about 2017 and 2018. Below is a very nifty, helpful list that summarizes some things I learned and/or realized over the past twelve months.

  • I'm always going to feel uncomfortable when it comes to new experiences and that's complexly okay. What's not okay is for me to allow that uncomfortable feeling to impact my behavior. This year I allowed myself to feel uncomfortable....but I still did what needed to be done.

  • Whenever I feel discouraged or misunderstood, I think to myself, "This is how Steve Jobs felts in the early 80's..." or "This is how Oprah felt before fame...." I may never been famous or influential, but thinking of Steve or Oprah during those moments helps remind me that people who are famous and influential deal with discouragement, too. 

  • Money spent on good food is never, ever wasted. The same goes for money spent on experiences. By all means, you should be responsible with your personal finances. In my humble opinion, one way of doing that is to spend your hard-earned cash on meaningful things. 2017 was all about experiences > materials.

  • TIME. Life is speeding by and I haven't EVEN HIT THIRTY YET. I feel an unquenchable, nagging need to make my life count. I believe in God and that He has purposes for our lives, but lately I've felt disconnected from any sort of purpose. It's frustrating to feel a lack. Sociologist Anthony Giddens once said, "A person's identity is not to be found in behavior, but in the capacity to keep a particular narrative going." I've lost hold of my "particular narrative" and I want to find it again.

2017 was full of searching, wondering, and questioning. 

2018 will be full of finding, understanding, and answering.