I don’t actually remember looking forward to the future when I believed in god, the future always seemed like a haze that god would reveal to me at one point. God had it under control, so it didn’t make any sense to make plans or think about what the next year would hold. So no plans were made, no hopes were built and no resolutions formed.
It has only been in the past few years that I have begun to plan out what I wanted from life. It had never even occurred to me to create a five year career plan or 10 year life plan when I was a christian. I believed that what I was meant to do was already mapped out and would be shown to me in due course, so I just waited to see what happens.
Imagine my terror when I no longer believed in a god who made plans for me! Who was going to tell me what to do with my life?! It was scary at first and I had no idea what to do with my life, I am still figuring it out and that is fine. A wonderful friend at uni told me that she had a five year plan so I thought I would give it a go, and I did, several times! I adapted it each time that I changed jobs or realised that it wouldn’t quite work for me. Having my own rough plan to work towards has been very motivational and helped me to keep in the right direction. My plan has helped me to feel a little more in control of my world and encouraged me to care more about my own life.
In the run up to the New Year, I began to think really carefully about what I want to see happen in my future, what I want to achieve, what I want to do and who I want to be. I felt really excited about this New Year and felt a sense of happiness about the future that I don’t remember having before, not to this extent. I certainly didn’t feel this hopeful about the future when I was constantly afraid of armageddon and eternal judgement of my loved ones. This new hope is nice to feel.
Now, a set of New Year’s resolutions wouldn’t be complete or right without a challenging one slipped in there that actually means something, that one for me is to be free. Sounds a bit dramatic, because I am not stuck or a prisoner of any sort, but for such a long time I was held back by my religion, prevented from being able to fully embrace who I was and be a truly happy independent person. I am free of that repressive existence now but I still find that I confine myself out of fear and am limited by anxiety. My anxiety makes me a prisoner of my mind that I hope to manage it better this year, so that I fell free, even if I am only free from the anxiety occasionally.
I am glad to see the start of a another year, another one free from religion and free from god.