I’m typically not one to reflect on a year when it is about to pass because my mind is in a constant state of reflection. A year is a long time and I prefer to reflect on shorter periods of time. Hence this blog and my endless journaling. But 2018 is a year that I can’t help but think back on and say, “Wow!”

I have a little book that asks me a question every single day. I write down the answer and do this over the course of five years so that when I’m all finished I can look back through and see how things have changed, progressed, or evolved. It was given to me as a graduation present. It’s a really cool concept and I’m a little obsessed with it. Yesterday’s question, December 30, was, “What word would you use to characterize this year?”

I was not expecting to be able to answer to question as fast as I did. I could only think of two word phrases and thought for sure it would take me longer than it did to come up with a single word. But then it hit me. CHANGE.  This year has been full of change. Four rather large ones, to be exact.

This was the year I got a boyfriend, something I wasn’t expecting to happen for a long, long time. The year I graduated high school, ending my public school career forever. The year I broke up with said boyfriend, which was hard but much needed. And the year I moved to Slovenia, something I’d been dreaming about since I was fourteen or fifteen.

What a ride it has been! This year definitely earns the award for the most times I’ve ever cried (unless you count the year I was born). This says a lot because I’m not a very emotional person. It takes a lot for me to cry. I used to go months, even years, without shedding a tear. This year was different. Very different. A roller coaster. I’ve been all over the place and have felt many things. I’ve thought long and hard about anything and everything. I’ve been overwhelmed. I’ve been stressed. I’ve been heartbroken. I went through a lot!

But I learned a lot. I learned about 20th century American history and wrote roughly six papers about it in the spring. I started learning Slovene and discovered its grammar really is as hard as my mom always said. I learned how hard times have the power to draw me closer to Jesus. I learned how important obedience is. I learned what peace from the Holy Spirit feels like. I learned a ton about other countries and their cultures and how fun it is to have both international and older friends!

There is always so much to learn. I love learning and look forward to another year of learning and growing. I also look forward to the change 2019 will bring. I’ve always been pretty okay with change. I often look forward to it and feel very ready for it to come. I know most people hate change, but change keeps life interesting! Change is how we learn and grow. Without it we would become stagnant, and that’s no good. We must always keep evolving, learning, growing.

Do I have any new years resolutions? You better believe I don’t. I’ve never been big into new years resolutions. I think they’re silly. We have the freedom to change at any time of the year. You can start eating healthy whenever you want. You can start exercising whenever you want. You can start reading your bible every day whenever you want! It’s all about motivation. If one feels pressured to make a change simply because it’s the new year, it’s just not going to stick. You need a deeper motivation for your change. And that can happen at any time of the year! I know this post took somewhat of a random turn, but I just wanted to encourage anyone who is reading this that you do not have to make a resolution just because it’s a new year. And if you have decided to make one, examine why you made it. Is this something you really want to change, or are you just making resolutions for the fun of it?

As I mentioned earlier, we are always learning, growing, and evolving, so our desire to make changes will flow naturally with this process.

Hard to believe we only have a few hours left of 2018! Or maybe 2019 has already come by the time you are reading this. Either way, I wish you all a happy new year and want to thank you for reading my blog these past few months! Writing this blog is one of my favorite past times and a super fun way for me to give you guys some insight into my experience here. I’m excited for more to come!


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