As I look back on the previous year, the best way I can describe 2014 was that it was the year that I found my voice.
When I finished college, I found myself feeling very lost. For most of my life, my dream was to go to college, but once the whole college experience ended, I found myself without any job offers and most of my friends were getting engaged or married or having children. It didn’t help that I lost a dear friend who was with me from the beginning of my college years. He was a retired teacher, a pastor that I often had lunch with, and he passed away of old age. Losing him around the same time I graduated college made me feel like I was completely losing everything I knew about myself. When 2013 started, I also lost another friend who turned out to be a toxic influence and most of the year was spent making new friends outside of the safety of a college campus and the internet.
When 2014 came around, I started taking more positive risks. I started this blog and took pictures of what I was grateful for everyday. I participated in a poetry-a-day-challenge. I volunteered at an Awakening retreat in March and taught Sunday School at my local church. I had the opportunity to travel. I won’t sugarcoat it and say that 2014 was perfect, but it was definitely of the good, at least on a personal level for me.
When I think about what it meant for me to find my voice in 2014, I think of 2 events: the first was Comicpalooza, where I met the cast of Buffy and got to ask them questions at the panel. It wasn’t a picture-perfect moment, but it was pretty close to it because I spoke with confidence, even amidst my girlish giggling.The second event was me giving testimony at the September Awakening retreat. I gave my speech with just my voice, no microphone necessary. I talked about how the friends I made during Awakening became the community I needed to have after finishing college. Keep in mind, by the way, that during both moments, I stood in a large room in front of a lot of people. The days of me taking anxiety medication are long gone now.
So with reflections out of the way for now, here are my 10 New Year’s Resolutions
- Visit some convents. I’m currently interested in meeting the Daughters of St. Pal.
- Travel to more places outside of Texas. I especially hope to go to Philadelphia for Pope Francis’s first visit to America.
- Write 700 words a day for 50 days to finally finish the 2nd (or was it 3rd) draft of my novel.
- Read at least 12 new books by reading at least 1 book every 2 weeks.
- Lose 5lbs every week by snacking less and going to the gym and/or taking a 30 minute walk at least 3x a week.
- Keep updating my gratitude journal by listing at least 3 things I’m grateful for every day.
- Update this blog at least once a week.
- Learn how to drive by taking classes in the next few months.
- Increase my prayer life by praying the Rosary and Examen daily and the Liturgy of the Hours at least once a week.
- Finish 3 new knitting projects and, if possible, be able to knit presents for everyone for Christmas 2015.
Here’s to the new year, y’all!