December has always been a special time to me because of the holidays, but also because in that month (for the last four years) I've participated in a blogging challenge called Reverb. In the next thirty or so days, bloggers and writers look back and reflect on the last year, along with manifesting in the coming year ahead. While I'm not sure as to whether or not I'll write every single day, I have no doubt that it'll be deep, emotional, and vulnerable. Some of the prompts will be my own, while others from bloggers also taking part. Here we go!
What was your word for this year, and what word are you thinking of for the year to come?
"I think 'New Beginnings' would be a good one for you," suggested my best friend as we munched on Chicago deep dish pizza last New Years Eve. Cliche as it sounded, I wanted something simple that allowed me to approach 2014 with hope, but also with realistic expectations.After finding out many things about my family situation that left me pretty shaken up, I knew that I needed to somehow start over. It would take a while to genuinely feel like I had a clean slate in front of me, but I got there. And while those two words were appropriate due to being on the cusp of graduation and going out into the Real World, there was something else that more appropriate captured what this season has looked like for me:
This year was a year of uncovering treasured aspects regarding who I am, both as a person and a woman. Some good, some difficult to swallow, some which I had buried underneath the facade of who I thought I should be, and some that had always remained despite trying to fight it off. I learned a lot about various relationships and how they work, particularly in regards to my family. There has been a lot of emotional unpacking and I could argue that I still have a ways to go, but I've come a long way and I thank God for it.
And with that being said, this next word feels appropriate in every way possible:
It's amazing what can happen when you stop living in a bubble and start living out your own truth; when you stop listening to the noise of the world and embrace the best that God has for you. Don't get me wrong, I loved college and still stick my by experiences that I had there. But where there is a culture, there is a way of doing things, and more so the pressure to stick to that way. I won't go in depth about it right now, but most of it involved superficial interactions and ignoring real feelings.
As I'm transitioning out of that time in my life, it hit me that a lot of what we think we're supposed to be doing at a certain age comes from someone else's opinions. Yes there are those that try to bestow well-meaning advice, but a lot of it comes from the internet and popular how-to guides. I do what I can to take that stuff with a grain of salt, because one kind of experience doesn't always equal a collective truth. There is being flexible and being willing to adapt, but it will turn out to be useless if it feels like betrayal in the process.
What that word looks like in action, I'm still figuring out. I do know that I have a lot to give, goals to achieve, and a purpose to live by. I want to be better about loving and extending grace, both for other people and for myself. I'm no longer apologizing for what I once thought were flaws, but what I now recognize as gifts. And even though my history and upbringing have played a role in it, the only one that has kept me from that is me.
I look forward to finishing out this year and seeing what the next one holds.
photo credit: 'Scratch' via photopin cc