Well, we made it folks. The holidays are over and it’s a new year. How’s everyone’s bank account? Are you staying warm? As for me, I’m having to delay my travel back up to Boston a day or two because of this east coast winter storm. And after all the gifts and gas money (I’ve driven almost 800 miles in the past two weeks! My driving foot has developed a cramp, and my passenger seat is filled with various receipts and loose almonds), my bank account is pretty meager. So if you’re feeling a bit like a wrung out dishrag, you’re in good company. But I hope the chill is dimmed somewhat by time with your families and loved ones. I know my heart has been warmed.
But you’re here for a good old fashioned list, aren’t you? Well, first let’s recap. My 2017 goals were pretty abstract, so this will be a fun journey. How did I do? You tell me. The past year’s resolutions were as follows:
1. Love people for who they are, not who I want them to be.
It’s hard to quantify, but I do believe having a consciousness of this influenced my relationships this year. I’m practicing having grace for people, but also speaking the truth. The Lord has given me lots of patience. I’m still working on this, always.
2. Loosen my grip on my life; listen to God’s voice more and my plans less.
Being a senior in college kind of forces this open-handedness. The summer really helped, too. The chaos of being a camp counselor rips your agenda right out of your hands, and I had to take several deep breaths and say, okay God, You take it from here. He was really gracious to put me in lots of situations that grew me in this area. I’m still a control freak though.
3. Learn for the sake of doing.
Honestly, no idea. I can feel myself being more willing to take action when a situation calls for it, and implementing things as I learn them, so I guess that counts. But I think this is really a thing you see clearer in retrospect, and I think this will be one of those times I look back on years from now and say, ‘oh yeah, that’s what I was doing.’
4. Be the first to speak up.
This is so, so hard you guys. I still don’t even like ordering food over the phone (except Dominos and Chinese, because I’ve done it enough times that I know what to say.) But I initiated a few friendships, spoke up a few times when something was wrong, and affirmed when things were right. So I think I got somewhere. Still could work on this though, probably forever.
5. Have a more concrete direction for post-graduation.
As much as possible, I guess?? I’m looking at a few regional auditions, and contemplating a few jobs in the Gordon area that could grace me with a paycheck until the acting thing pans out. Also looking at grad schools I might like to audition for. So that’s not nothing. But is anything ever really certain? God changes my plans up most of the time anyway. It’s a start.
Okay, so not too bad. This year is going to be full of transitions and vulnerable moments; I can tell already. So as I make my resolutions, I’m trying my best to leave room for things like rest, grace, and peace. Here they are:
- Be content wherever I am.
- Keep the important things the same.
- Get one acting job that pays.
- Allow for spontaneity.
- Read more books.
- Make some new (real) friends.
Hopefully these will help me maintain some consistent rhythms in a time of change, rest in the uncertainty, choose joy in stress, continue to pursue knowledge, and reach outside my comfort zones when it’s tempting to shrink back and draw inward. Obviously, prayers are appreciated.
There you have it. Whatever you’re looking back on from 2017, may you smile on the good with thankfulness and leave the bad behind without bitterness. Whatever you’re looking toward in 2018, may you approach your fears with boldness and your joys with humbleness. Love deeply, speak truly, and walk with integrity.
Best wishes to all of you,