Hello there 2017! Welcome! I’ve been waiting for you with an expectant heart and a whole lot of hope for the beauty that will unfold in the next 365 days. Well, 364 days now I guess.
Exactly one year ago today I posted my 2016 goals and wow, does that feel like a long time ago. In a way, it feels like it’s been three years because every 4 months, my life changes and starts a new chapter. It’s hard to believe that this summer, 1st year and this past semester have all shared a year. And what a year.
Out of those three chunks, summer was definitely my favourite. Although I won’t be returning to camp this year, the memories and connections I made on Beausoleil will be carried with me forevermore; I am so grateful to have been a part of the magic that happens on Kitchi sands, one last time. Whenever I think about those months I can’t help but smile and for that I am grateful.
On the other hand, this past semester was a very challenging season for me. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t enjoying school. At all. My professors were nearly all terrible teachers who really didn’t care about the subject they were instructing and I just became so disillusioned with my education. My grades fell below the standards I hold myself to and I found myself often questioning why God had me in such a place. Other aspects of life were great; I enjoyed my new job, made some new friends, and joined the executive of a club. But school became a source of frustration, discontentment, difficulty and a sense of futility. It took me a while to be okay with saying “this semester wasn’t great”. Because my life wasn’t totally falling to pieces, I didn’t feel like I had a right to be frustrated. Honestly though I have never wanted a semester to end more in my life.
Now that I’m out of it though it’s really cool to look back and see where God was in all of it. It wasn’t a fun season but I’ve grown from it for sure. My statement that “my identity is found in God and not my grades” was put to the test. I learned to trust Him more, to remember that in all stages, His plan is greater and He is still God. I learned to be still and content in every season. And I realized that sometimes I will do everything “right”, put in the work and still have things not work out; and that’s ok.
A new semester.
A summer coop.
My first solo travel.
A fresh start.
And a whole lot of unknown.
It would be easy to stay frustrated going into second semester but I actually feel so refreshed and hopeful for what is to come. One bad semester does not mean development isn’t what I’m meant to be doing. One bad semester does not mean I can’t learn Arabic. One bad semester is a learning experience that is going to STAY confined to ONE semester.
So now I turn to planning. I turn to praying and asking God what He wants my year to look like. I start plotting out my goals and journalling my hopes. I let myself dream about all the big and scary and challenging and wonderful things 2017 is going to bring.
I started deciding to prioritize sleep. 8 hours shouldn’t be a treat…my life is so much better when I get enough sleep.
I’ve started laying out study plans to get myself where I want to be academically.
I’ve resolved to stop being afraid of Arabic and start LEARNING it for it’s own sake rather than for the grades attached to it.
I’ve started applying for internships.
I’ve discovered where I need to say “no” in order to fully invest myself in everything I do; nothing I do deserves half of my heart. I want to be truly present in few places rather than distracted in many.
I will make time for people but also make time for myself.
I’ve promised to give God the 1st of my time rather than whatever energy I have left at the end of the day. I’ve resolved to ask Him more questions and learn more about what it means to live and love like Jesus.
I’ve resolved to rediscover what it means to be curious. What it means to learn because something catches my interest. To read books not assigned in a syllabus and attend conferences to meet others with the same interests. To go to office hours and get to know my professors.
I’ve started praying for more grace and wisdom.
I’ve started asking for more passion.
I want 2017 to be a year that often makes me a little uncomfortable. A year to seek that flip flop in your stomach before you do something new and the rush of accomplishing something you never believed to be possible.
I am going to continue to try to make my bed. It just didn’t stick this year haha but one day I will be a person who’s room is presentable!!
And on that note, I am going to have an open door. I’m not working in rez because it’s free. I want to know the people I live with. I want to have conversations that go past “how’s school going?”. I want to be a person of warmth and welcome. My door will be propped open more often this semester.
I’m going to stop buying things that don’t serve a unique purpose in my life, consume more intentionally and truly appreciate my possessions.
I’ve decided to work on being healthier, to eat food that makes me feel ready to take on my day, to go back to swimming, to go on more hikes, to prioritize mental wellness.
I’ve decided to stop watching Netflix…not forever, not because it’s inherently bad but because there are so many other things I want to do.
I’m plotting ways to see more of the world. Iceland and then, who knows where!
I’ve decided to write when I want to and not when I feel like I have to. I’ve decided to keep learning guitar.
I’ve sworn to journal more, to keep records of the beauty of life.
A new year isn’t a revolutionary thing. Life isn’t going to change just because the date did. *Sidenote: it’ll take me a solid month to start getting the date right at the top of my notes* But it is a benchmark, an opportunity to leave the past in the past and start anew, to allow yourself to dream and plan and seek new visions. This isn’t an itemized list like last year. Rather, it is a global overview of values and actions that I want to take to make this year the best it can be. I want to put every minute of my time to it’s BEST purpose, whether that purpose is studying, laughing, truly resting, writing, working, talking or whatever. Everything has a time and a place.
I want 2017 to be a year of balance.
What are you dreaming of?
-Until next time, Sam
P.s. Stay tuned for my new word of the year!! I’m super excited about the theme and vision God has given me for 2017 and can’t wait to share that with you all soon 🙂
P.s.s. I did indeed finished the sweater I resolved to knit. Thought you ought to know.