I turn… another year older… next week. I tend to treat my birthday like New Year’s, and October like January. That is, leading up to my birthday (and for the whole month after it), I pray about resolutions and how to shift focus. I reflect on the lessons of the past year. I take stock of my relationships and goals. I consider what I need to leave behind and what to take with me, moving forward.
Looking back on this year, I’ll say it surprised me. I’m the kind of person who likes to plan ahead and have an idea of what to expect, but this past year, there was a new surprise around every turn. It challenged me to take risks and have faith that God would catch me, even through some hardships. I’ve also had to learn how to be comfortable with vulnerability, as that is the key to relational maturity.
What’s incredible is that I wrote down a bunch of hopes and dreams last year, and almost every single one came true. The main ones were that I wanted to travel more, get closer to my mom’s side of the family, make new professional connections, and have a friend group. I had no idea that I’d get a collaboration started with one of my favorite authors, see my favorite cousin (on my mom’s side) twice, go on a New England road trip (which fed my inner history nerd), be on a panel at San Diego Comic Con, and make (real) friends in the entertainment industry. Professionally, I think this year seems to have laid the groundwork for greater growth and higher profile work.
Since I see all aspects of my life as connected, I also grew spiritually. For example, the opportunities that came my way also had costs I wasn’t prepared for. So I had to take risks and trust that I’d get a return on my investments. This required confidence in who I know God to be — that He wouldn’t call me into something only to leave me hanging. It’s also helped to spend intentional time with a number of older, wiser people who mentor me in my spiritual, relational, and professional life.
I’ll have more thoughts in October as I gather more reflections and resolutions. In the meantime, I have to prepare for an upcoming art show AND a signing appearance at New York Comic Con!