Au Revoir, 2017
Happy 2018 friends! I can't believe that this time last year B and I were just about to launch Trouvaille MN, as it seems like only yesterday we were putting the final touches on our baby blog! So much has happened this past year and I've spent the last few days trying to wrap my head around it all. While 2017 came with a lot of amazing (and I mean amazing) opportunities, I'd also argue that it was one of the more trying years of my twenties; which is worth exploring considering I lost my mom at twenty one. I've learned a lot while navigating my twenties; a great deal about myself, others, and life in general. I told my friend recently that I'm not confident I would actually be close friends with the 21 year old version of myself (so for those of you who were, thank you!!). But I don't regret who I was or the choices I made then, because I am who and where I am today because of her. And I have a feeling that I will feel the same way when I'm 39, and again at 49, and (God-willing) 99 - although honestly, I peaked ages ago so I'd even take 89.
Still I think there is a lot to take away from this past year, before diving into the next. I've been feeling oddly unsettled lately, and by lately I mean the majority of 2017. I've been a MN resident for over 6 years now, and I can't explain to you how perfectly suited it has been for me. I'm so incredibly grateful for the friends I've made and the life that's built itself up around me. Yet I'm starting to feel more and more like a square peg in a round hole, that feeling of groundedness slowly disappearing. And every time I try to adjust, it's never the outcome that I had hoped for or expected. Maybe that's the reason I so often find myself on a plane; subconsciously seeking that feeling of being in a new place at the right time. Or maybe I feel unsettled because I don't keep my feet on the ground long enough.
Either way, I know these feelings are also due in large part to having experienced more rejection this year than I'd like to admit. Mostly in relationships but in my professional life as well. That feeling of rejection can come in many different forms: friends who have gotten married or had babies (or both) and now have more responsibility to their sweet families, and while it's not intentional, this can often feel as though your friendship has become less important to them. My dating life this past year is mostly laughable, but is laced with feelings of rejection as well. When I look back, I have a lot of unanswered questions, unresolved situations that I simply wish for closure. I find myself constantly replaying conversations in my head, trying to figure out what I could have said or done differently or where I refused to acknowledge red flags. Ultimately I know that what will be, will be, but I still spend so much time trying to understand the past and fixating on things that I can't control. I've got this idea in my head of what I think my life should look like, when in reality it's nothing like it. That, fueled by constant comparison to those around me, it's no wonder I've taken on this "misfit" mentality. Trying to force what is just not meant to be, simply because I think it should. Because at 29 you know best, right?
I don't like surprises. I look up spoilers before binge watching anything on Netflix, I refuse to eat a box of assorted chocolates (okay, refuse may be a tad dramatic), and those "pick your ending" stories I read as a kid caused me a stupid amount of anxiety. The only thing worse than one unknown ending, is three, amIright?? But I'm realizing that I can't google spoilers about my own life - although, if anyone could provide them, my bet is on Reality Steve.
So maybe this need to try and understand the past is my solution to not being able to control the future. But friends, that isn't how we were created to live either. We can't manipulate or change the past any better than we can predict the future. A friend of my reminded me recently that although we can't know what will happen tomorrow, we can control how much effort and hard work we put into today. And we live the rest by faith, trusting that each day God is providing opportunities to seek Him and allow Him to lead us through a life perfectly fitted for you and I.
So wherever you may find yourself this new year, I challenge you to let go of the things from 2017 that still hold your mind hostage. Allow yourself to look forward and embrace the unknown of this next year. Make it one you won't ever forget.