Whether we like it or not, 2013 is ending in just two short days. There is something about the end of a year that makes me more contemplative than usual. I have been in a mind set the past couple of days that is causing me to pick apart every little aspect of 2013. I have been thinking about all of the good, all of the bad, things I should have done, things I should have done differently...you name it, I've thought about it...in abundance.
2013 was a great year in a lot of ways, but it still wasn't what I would call a super successful year. Not much changed. I didn't work hard enough to achieve any major goals. I'm still stuck in the same job that I swore I would escape. I spent too much time being depressed. I could have been a better friend. I didn't spend enough quality time with my family. In the back of my mind I'm constantly thinking...I could have done better.
Then, I remember that I have a really bad habit of being too hard on myself. I have a tendency to focus on the negative so much, that the positive just completely disappears from my memory. So I have to remind myself...sure, all of that may have been less than satisfactory, but the good always outweighs the bad. Despite everything I just said, 2013 also brought me a brand new set of memories. I traveled. I wrote. I met new people and made new friends. I pressed through the beginning stages of this blog. I prayed. I changed the way that I talk to God. During this period of my life, I did okay. But, I didn't do my best.
For 2013 in particular, I feel like God waited until the last couple of months of the year to have me do most of my growing. He led me to make some decisions that I am still actively trying to figure out. I have no idea what lessons I am supposed to learn from them yet, but I am positive I will find out eventually...even if it's another year or two down the road from now.
I suppose that I can officially say that I feel like I'm going through my first life crisis. Okay, maybe not my first, but the first one that has felt this big and this important. Honestly, I am so tired of just beating around the bush and making excuses for this time in my life. I'm sick of telling people that I don't have my life figured out. I'm sick of trying to talk myself into liking a career just because it pays my bills. I'm sick of waking up every morning and accepting the fact that I am comfortable and change isn't necessary. I'm sick of "standing still" because I'm afraid of failure.
I'm sick of mediocrity.
Since I was a child, I have wanted nothing more than to make a difference in the world somehow. When I became a Christian at the age of 15, I knew that God had special plans for me. For a long time, I felt that inside of me...that willingness to do whatever and go wherever it took to make a difference in some way, shape, or form. In the past few years, I have slowly lost that drive. I became so focused on school, and paying bills, and being "successful," that the fire that was burning in me dwindled more and more every second. I stopped attempting to use my God-given talents to find my own path, and instead molded myself into someone that would go along the traditional road to the American dream.
And now, here I am...questioning myself every day because I know that I haven't even remotely been introduced to my life's calling, and I'm exhausted. I'm exhausted from fighting the fire inside of me. I fight to keep it at a smolder, because for some reason I'm afraid of what will happen if I let it consume me. I'm afraid of being wrong. I'm afraid that I will disappoint those that love me. I'm afraid that it's somehow too late to make my own path. I'm afraid that I will discover that I'm stuck in this place I'm in, and I won't be able to escape.
Here is my ultimate confession: I'm afraid to try, even though I desperately want to.
So, this is my first step for the new year. It's time to try. It's time to attempt to answer my call to living a life of outreach and serving others. A couple of potential opportunities have already been revealed to me, and through prayer and guidance, I know that 2014 is going to be the year that I find my purpose. I hope you are all okay with taking the journey with me.