How have you changed in the past year?
Here I was reading this prompt and thinking that I’ve changed in almost every way possible. Almost nothing about my life is the same as it was 365 days ago, and I mean that in the best way. But according to my Timehop app, one year ago today I was between back-to-back vacations to Los Angeles and Dallas. I was rooting for my favorite baseball teams to make the playoffs. I was giggling over newly-released promos for the new season of Saturday Night Live.
So maybe things haven’t changed as much as I might like to think. I’m in the middle of a whirlwind couple of months including hosting a friend here in NYC, taking trips to Toronto and Dallas, hosting my mom and her friend. My baseball teams have all been eliminated from playoff contention, just as they eventually were in 2013. The first promos for SNL’s 40th season were released yesterday and I laughed hysterically.
My interests haven’t changed. But I have. The way I approach these things has. Last fall, when I was on those trips, I didn’t want to go home to Phoenix. I wanted to lay on the beach forever, to be “home” every weekend to root for my high-school football team, to be anywhere but where I lived. I loved Arizona but I knew a chapter was coming to a close, and I was anxious to turn the page. This year, I had a blast on my vacations. I laughed with friends and family, saw the sights, said some tearful goodbyes when they were over. But I was thrilled to return to NYC.
A year ago today I wrote down this Bible verse: After your season of suffering, God in all His grace will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you (1 Peter 5: 10). Wow. I have 100 percent found that to be true. I certainly don’t consider myself to have been “suffering” at this time last year – by all accounts, my life was fantastic. But today, in this season, I feel so much stronger and more established.
At the beginning of 2014, I made my word of the year happiness. I wanted to continue to work toward my future, but also to find joy and delight in every day. It took effort for a while. Some days all I did was run errands and write cover letters, but I tried to appreciate the sunshine, friendships – whatever I could. Nine months later, finding that joy comes so much more naturally.
I’ve accomplished some really big dreams in the past year, and set my sights even higher – because for the first time, I truly feel like anything is possible.