My Thoughts on the New Year

My Thoughts on the New Year

Finding a balance between holding tight to the past and placing hope in the future
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I’m one of those people who will recall certain moments down to the second. For example: this exact time (from when I’m writing this) two weeks ago, I was headed North for Christmas break. That morning, a little ache begged me to stay in Los Angeles for the weekend. The clouds were supposed to break that afternoon — and, when they did, the day was a gorgeously pure Southern Californian day: unobscured by smog, with its summer-like holiday spirit in full force.

I drove home anyway, because coming home too often and for too much time is what I continue to do best. That first Friday night home, I crawled into a warm bed with the feeling that all was right with the world. (All being right meaning that reality, and January, felt an eternity away.)

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In the midst of a memorable moment—however large or simple—I am intentional about capturing a photo in my mind of the sight and smell and sound. Last night, while at Twin Peaks, every word that came to mind failed the sight of San Francisco. The City sounded mostly of tourists; though when I allowed myself to be lost in thought I heard only the hush of the wind with scattered honking cars and buses in the distance. San Francisco smelled like crisp air: the kind that rubs a face red and feels clean in the lungs.

Each time I stand still for a handful of moments—in spite of my intention—the motion of time eventually speeds up — usually without my awareness. Before I know it, twenty-four hours has passed, and the nostalgic process of thinking back begins: this time yesterday, I was standing at Twin Peaks…This time two weeks ago, I was on my way home...

I assume I've held tightly enough to the moment as if I could freeze it myself, and yet time slips swiftly anyway.

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Every new year I find myself in the same predicament: nostalgic for all things within the past year. I’m all for self-reflection. If you’ve followed along on here or read my personal blog, you would know that. However, I’m at a point in my life when self-reflection requires balance. The irony is that my expectation for the future also needs balance.

I tend to hold fast to the sights and smells and sounds that come with the past. I grasp, until my knuckles are white, at the moments most familiar to me because they feel safe. I exhaust myself on the how life felt when’s… And on the what used to be’s…

And, the problem doesn’t stop in the past. I even make the mistake of going to the complete opposite side of the spectrum. In attempt to correct myself for wallowing, I look to the future with unprotected expectation — expectation rooted without hope and with entitlement, and placed with too much emphasis and not enough faith.

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For the New Year, I want to find a middle ground between holding memories and comforts near to my heart without allowing nostalgia to rob me of the joy and familiarity waiting to be found in the future. I also want to stop placing the sorts of expectations that keep the future from organically working itself out.

The future is inevitably imperfect, but that doesn’t mean it should go on to exist without any hope invested in it. I want to learn how to expect, without building walls of expectations — walls that are unclimbable, walls that ultimately scare me off or keep me in.

I do hope to continue capturing those intentional little moments, because they are the snapshots that decorate the walls in my mind. I just hope to also look out the window of my life with the intent of finding unexpected things that, however unfamiliar, will grow my perspective and change my life some more.

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In this new year I hope you can look toward something new and invigorating, while holding closely to what has rooted you all along.

Cover Image Credit: Andrajos

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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The Power Of Journaling

Slowing down in a fast pace world.

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In a world where everything is moving so fast pace, I have found comfort in taking small moments to reflect on the blurring images around me. I have always loved to journal, but recently I have found a system that works very well for me.

One habit that I have newly formed is creating a section in my journal that I like to call "Get Out of My Head." Life moves very fast and sometimes my thoughts can't keep up. This causes stress, anxiety, sadness and even the feeling of loneliness. I have created this section in my journal to be a safe place where I can just scribble down whatever is taking over my head, but there is a trick.

Like I stated previously, I have always loved to journal, but I never found ultimate comfort in it because I would go back and read what I wanted to remove from my mind. This was causing me to reexperience what I didn't want to. I highly suggest having a place in your journal that is essentially a flame for all th4e thoughts you want to rid of.

On the contrary, have a section in your journal where you love to look. I try and fill this section with happy thoughts, quotes, verses, and gratitude. This makes journaling and reading your entries something to look forward to, rather than not.

In conclusion, journaling is unique for everyone and it takes some time to figure out exactly the right way. But once you discover the safe place that journaling can be, it can change your life forever.

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