I was never the kind of person to make New Year’s Resolutions or have goals, or even check lists. I was too cynical. Knowing my lack of self-discipline would inevitably lead to me failing. I couldn’t fool myself into thinking I’d achieve any of these wild goals or resolutions.
However, this year was different.
2016 was one of the hardest years of my life. At the end of the year, I was more a shell of a human, just trying to survive. My heart was broken. Hopes dashed. Dreams taken away from me. I had no idea where I’d be the next year and wasn’t hopeful I’d be any happier. But when January came, clarity started to arrive, and I finally had a lot of time to reflect, take a deep breath, and try to hope again.
I have a good friend who has a theme word for every new year. I always admired her ambition and action in dreaming big and actively trying to achieve that goal. But I didn’t think that could ever be me. However, with January 2017 arriving, and me being in a position to have a lot of space and reflection time, the word hope kept popping up. In the depths of my soul, that’s what I desired. To feel hopeful again. Now I wasn’t completely hopeless in January, but had been the past year. I was hopeful that I could be hopeful, but wanted the real deal. I wanted to trust God again. And actually dream for big things.
So I chose Hope as a theme for 2017. I didn’t want to tell anyone, because I didn’t want to fail. I really didn’t want to be in the same place in December as I was in January, but knew I needed to make this a goal. 2017 would not be defined by hopelessness like the past years. I wouldn’t allow it. And honestly couldn’t have survived another year like that.
So now, at the end of 2017, as I reflect back on the year, I can honestly say that I am more hopeful than when it started. It has in no way been an easy year. I was recovering from an emotional breakdown, from heartbreak, and left the city I love and called my home for a brand new city I’d never visited, unsure what the future would look like. I spent half this year living in Paris, in despair and also healing, soaking up the city I love. The second half traveling around and reconnecting with old friends, and moving to Long Beach. A city I still don’t know super well, but a city full of new friendships, community and hope.
Transition would be a good word to use to sum up this year. Very very hard, but hopeful. I knew I needed a change, hoping it would be a positive one. And so far it has been.
I honestly have no idea what 2018 will look like, and I’m learning that it’s ok to not be able to predict the future, and just take it one day at a time. But I start this year more hopeful than the year before. And that is something to celebrate.