I've never been one for new year's resolutions.
I'd like to think that I happen to already be a very motivated and resolved individual. But realistically, it's for two other (actually true) reasons.
Firstly, I find that every time I make a specific goal, especially a time-oriented one, I'm focusing on myself. I'm also being ignorant of the blissful chaos that is the unexpected. I like surprises, so I prefer not to barge through my year, barrelling along to complete a goal, but to keep my eyes up and watch for those unanticipated gifts and challenges.
Secondly, I don't feel like twelve months is always the best time frame for a goal. I understand that for many people and for many situations, it is of ultimate importance that every goal comes with a specific time frame. But not for me, and not for most of my life. In fact, I think the most important kinds of goals - the big ones - don't have months or calories or dollar signs attached to them.
I prefer to feel out life's seasons as I live into them and to decide what is best, most productive, most healthy, most challenging, most growing, and most adventurous for each of those seasons. We'll call it the 'immersion' technique, if you will. I am an immersive goal-setter, a holistic imaginer, a big-picture evaluator, and a go-with-the-flow planner.
So, what do I do when everybody and their mom is talking about their new work out plan (don't you just hate those first three crowded weeks back in the gym?!), and their personal shopping cuts (or is that easier because you just got new stuff at Christmas? I'm on to you, people) , and their reading list (because knowing the books you should read is almost as good as having read them) ?
I dream big and I try something new.
It's not like every other day of the year I wake up and dream small and try something routine haha ...or is it? But on January 1st, there is no reigning in the imagination. And this year, the imagination said "Let's try rearranging the blog!"
Though it seems only a short while ago, I meticulously thought through and planned the content, style, and timing of my blog posts, my brain has apparently decided it is time to switch things up.
I ended up with more pictures and thoughts from my semester abroad than I could possibly keep up with (especially since the UK really hasn't heard of the internet - seriously. In America, the internet is a human right. Get with the program, stupid Pogolink web vouchers!) The new blog content format should allow me to give you snippets of my adventures and inklings out of the context of me actually being abroad in a way that is still (hopefully) insightfully and captivating. It will also allow me to incorporate the many anticipated new happenings of my return to Vanderbilt and Nashville life.
I intend for this new set up to be the best of both worlds. If it's not, I'll work out the kinks and get back to you. But for now, here's to a new year, a new blog, a new adventure, and a new, unknown, not-12-months-long season of life!
With that out of the way, I'd just like to say thank you to all of the lovely people in my little world who made twenty-thirteen so absurdly wonderful. Here's how I spent this past year:
kicked off the new year celebrating Jesus with 15,00 of my best friends at Urbana 2012
documented my life in nice-ish pictures with my new camera (thanks, Mom!)
started a new job at the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center with kind co-workers
learned how to write a memoir and wrote more than I thought I could
finished production on and released five original songs on an EP
worked and played on Lana`i, Hawaii for five weeks with a BFF (thanks, Sunee!)
traveled back to Kenya with CAREforAIDS and found out that their programs really REALLY work! (check 'em out at www.careforaids.org)
galavanted around Europe and saw some really incredible places - and ate some really delicious food
read more Shakespeare and Chaucer than I thought existed and mastered the craft of writing a British essay
spent the holidays with my family whom I adore
road tripped with those same hooligans I call family across the country from California to Nashville (ok, this one's in the works)
It's been a whirlwind. It's been a gift. It's been just another year. It's been a life-transforming experience. Remember your year honestly and celebrate that you lived it; then pour that champagne and raise a glass to the uncharted waters ahead!