I’m Taking A Year: An Attempt At Redemption From Spending Too Many Yesterdays Planning My Tomorrows

I’ve decided that I’m going to take some time to become the person I’m supposed to be.

How else do you get over life happening to you — when your plans go awry and you must choose whether your wings will remain clipped like a wounded bird or will rise like a phoenix from the ashes?

It’s been a rough three months. I’ll spare the details but suffice it to say both the personal and professional spheres have wrecked me. Isn’t it amazing how these things that have the ability to destroy us (if we let them) tend to happen all at once? 

I’ve been searching for answers since it all started. I ask trusted mentors and good friends, read books about it, listen to podcasts. And they all seem to be pointing in the same direction. 

So I’m going to do it. I’m going to take a year. I’m going to just take a year. A year to work on me. To refuel my passion. To show even more love. To stop looking for more when I should be more than satisfied with what’s in front of me. To be more grateful. To really examine my faith. I am legitimately going to stop worrying about my future and live this year now. Because I’ll never get to live this year again, and I’ve spent too many of my yesterdays planning my tomorrows.

It won’t be easy. It will take a great deal of stamina and strength, of constant reminder to stop looking back and forward and just be. Amidst school and work, I’ll have to reprioritize my free time. I’m moving forward, getting over what’s been lost, and taking risks. This is something that I want to do, but it’s also something that I have to do. 

We are always at a crossroads of some kind. To be human is to make hundreds of choices each day, each of which will impact the next and the next. It’s this unending ripple effect in the lake of life. But I’m tired of continuously skipping rocks across it. It’s time to look out in front, not up in the clouds or down to the ground for more pebbles to throw.  It’s time to take in the beauty all around, to soak it up, to take one flat, smooth stone at a time instead of grabbing a handful.

I’m taking a year. I’m going to focus on school and on bettering my health. I’m going to do things I swore I never had time for. I’m going to give all the love that I had previously reserved for one person freely to everyone I meet.

I don’t mean I’m making some new year’s resolution, and I hate speaking in generalities. But I’d like to keep the goal broad because the old me would already have a list of very specific guidelines and regulations written out. That’s not what I want anymore. That life isn’t working out. I want to leave the year open for once. With hands outstretched, inviting new experiences. 

In our society, having a sense of clarity, of bring truly grounded, can be underrated. But I think that’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. I need it. I need to step back, and chill out, and just figure out some things. Maybe I won’t get to do everything I hope to, but I know that working on it will ultimately be for my benefit. And who knows? Maybe taking time to enjoy the path lain out will help me connect. Maybe I will meet some really cool people in the process. Maybe I’ll be forced to see some things I didn’t want to during all this introspection. But maybe that will be for the best in the long run.

It’s true: “Taking steps is easy; standing still is hard.” But as we stand still, our perspective can change. And standing still doesn’t mean doing nothing; for me, it’s more about accepting the things that I cannot change right now and living in that tension.  It’s about learning to embrace that tension. 

I’m going to take a year. We will never be the people we were born to be, we will never grow, if we don’t put in the time. 

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