i have been sitting here for about twenty-five minutes, not really knowing where and how to begin. last night, my head was reeling with ideas. i felt so inspired. and while still inspired, i am a little overwhelmed. and that is why i am in the middle of a crowded coffee shop with the leftover crumbs of a bagel all over my lap, staring at a blank screen.
folks, the year two-thousand-thirteen is upon us. i know this is the time when most people tend to reflect on the past year, rating is as a whole, making resolutions and goals and promises and hopes for the next. it is cliche, and yet kind of magical. we don't get restart buttons in life, but there is an understanding amongst humans that, you know, life is kind of hard and complicated sometimes, as well as good, but hard. and if the start of a new year is what it takes to get people contemplative and gracious and motivated and impassioned, then by golly i love it.
last night, i went out. for a little bit. with a few friends. we dressed up and went to a pub and ate food and drank some cider and talked. and then i went home at ten o'clock to my cats because i was really really tired, and fell asleep on the couch at eleven. but that is not the point. what i am trying to say is this: it was a really nice evening. at dinner, we talked about our hopes and goals for the new year. one person at the table posed a really interesting question: what do we hope for the new year - new experiences or learning new things?
well, can i want both? i don't think they are mutually exclusive, but it is an interesting way to look at life: how much do i value new experiences? what about knowledge? what do i want to do, or what do i want to learn? and then that makes me think about all the things i have yet to experience, and all the things i don't know. one year will not cover it all - a lifetime could not cover it all - but how motivating is that!?
thinking back to the beginning of two-thousand-twelve, it seems really long ago. i mean, it went by quickly and all, but also not. it wasn't just one year ago, but years and years and miles and worlds away. i am not all together different, but yet completely different. i had high hopes, but also i was pretty hopeless. maybe that doesn't make sense to anyone else, but if you have ever felt that way, then you know what i mean. it does make sense, in a way. because that's just how it is. i have never talked about this on my blog, or much in any public way at all, but for the past couple years i have been dealing with some heavy depression. i don't really know where it came from; it was like a snowy blanket that drifted down little by little and quietly settled all around me. this past year has been a discovery year. it was a learning year. but all that learning has been an experience, too. it wasn't what i imagined for myself, and it was certainly unexpected. but that, i think, is how a lot of things happen, so i should just get used to that. i already kind of am. used to it, i mean.
a friend asked me last night what my biggest hope for the new year is. i told her that my biggest hope is for peace. i would really like to rest in some peace, this year. i battled everything last year. i battled my beliefs, my faith, my relationships, my sense of self. i battled my sickness. i battled getting well. i battled truth. i don't want to battle anymore. not those things. i will fight for goodness and truth and love. but everything else i really need to let go. i need some peace. that is my hope. that is my goal. it is what i want to experience and learn. it is what i want to savour.
at the beginning of this new year, i don't feel hopeless. i may have some lingering doubts, but i am not giving into them. i have hopes for lots of new learning. and lots and lots of new experiences. i want adventure. i want quiet. i want to rest in the peace and love only my sweet jesus can give. i want to pour out unto others that peace and love. i don't want to let wonderous opportunities slip away. i don't want to let myself slip away.
so here's to a new year. happy new year, friends.
" so many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. the very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. the joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun." - christopher mccandless