It's New Year's, and that means that it is once again time to look back at the past year through rose-colored glasses, and to engage in maximum nostalgia.
This year, we are not only mourning the ending of a year, but we are also mourning the ending of a decade. Like other Gen-Z kids, most of my memories come from the 2010s, which makes them particularly hard to part with. This past decade, after all, has formed my personality, my tendencies and who I am today. I discovered my favorite musicians and movies. I went on many family trips and formed profound and mature friendships. I developed in my thinking as I grew from child, to teenager, to adult. Leaving this familiar decade feels unsettling because it is the first decade that I came into myself and discovered who I was.
In 2020, I don't only fear leaving the past. I'm also scared of the grandiosity of a new decade. Ten years, after all, is a huge block of time, and allows for a large amount of change. In the 2010s, I progressed from primary to secondary school, eventually graduating and moving to university. I lost my grandmother, and I celebrated my brother's marriage to my sister-in-law. I travelled to at least eleven different countries, worked at least six different jobs and lived in two different continents. I likewise believe that the 2020s will be full of changes, and yet I have no clue what they will be. I am instead left questioning what I will undergo as I move from young adult to adult and wondering where I will be ten years from now, on the precipice of 2030. It's terrifying.
In the face of all this uncertainty, it's important to remember that I have aspects in my life that I can count on, such as family and friends. In the words of the Frozen 2 song, "some things never change," and I trust that I will be supported and loved by those around me these next ten years. Most importantly, I have a God who goes before and behind me into the new year and the new decade. I don't know what these next ten years will hold, but I do know that He will complete His good works in His followers. Looking into the future is scary, but I can trust that He holds these next ten years in the palm of His hand. I encourage everyone reading this to lean on God's grace and goodness at this new stage of life. Although this decade may be full of change, the Maker of earth remains the same, "from everlasting to everlasting."
Maybe you're like me and are feeling overwhelmed at the thought of a new decade. I encourage you to this next step one day at a time. Trying to live in a ten-year mindset will only cause anxiety and uncertainty. Living in the mindset of doing your best, every day, seems much more manageable. After all, the Bible says that we are not supposed to "worry about tomorrow," proving that we are created to live in day-size chunks.
If we live day-by-day, we'll remember that the new year isn't our only fresh start. Rather, we have a new chance and opportunity every day. In our culture, there's a huge amount of pressure to be exactly who we want to be, starting January 1st. We make ambitious resolutions, we tell ourselves that a new year means a new and better version of ourselves, and we beat ourselves up if we fail to meet our idea of perfection. Living life one day at a time allows us to escape the pressure that everything must be perfect on the first day of the year because we'll remember that we can start over at any point. We have a daily opportunity to be who we want to be, even if we've messed up in the past, for God's mercies are "new every morning."
It's finally 2020, which means the start of a new year, and a new decade. We can choose to leave the old one behind and start the new one in boldness and excitement. God's in the future, and all we have to do is live one day at a time. I know it's going to be a great one.