I have really been reflecting on this past year…I can think of so many amazing things 2016 brought me that have impacted my life… From studying in Italy for a summer term to moving off campus to turning 21… It seemed at every turn God was teaching me something. At the same time, this year gave me something I have been praying to God for what feels like my whole life. If you are familiar with my testimony then you know something I have never really had, but always wanted: male best friends. And, just true friends that I know will be life long friends. Up until this year, that was something I didn’t really have at TCU, and I would just like to say these friendships and relationships I have now formed are what I have been most thankful for in 2016. I cannot put into words how wonderful these people have been in my life and what a gift it was to gain best friends in 2016. Thank you friends for everything and for the impact you’ve made on my life.
2016 was also the year I realized I’m closer to adulthood than I’m ready for, and that made me realize I don’t really know who I am as a person. I don’t think that is a bad thing, and from what I am realizing, this comes at a different time for every person. Finding yourself is not easy, I have learned. I mean, in 2016 I went from being the church going blogger with the Southern accent from the small town in Arkansas with the pageant queen on his arm who had barely had a sip of alcohol in his whole life to the guy that is typically happy to hit the barsThursday through Saturday that sadly doesn’t have a church home in Fort Worth and only blogs when he can find the time. That sounds a little sad I know, but truly the way I have done life for the past 20+ years is changing, and I am okay with that. Again, it’s not a bad thing, but it does leave me in a weird place. Trust me I spent plenty of time confused and worried as to why things were changing, but good news… I hear that’s the way life is! Therefore, my main goal is to continue to learn more about myself. I deserve that! So, with that being said, here are a few goals I have for 2017:
1. Spend Less Time On My Phone
This is a BIG one for me. I love technology a whole lot, but over this year I really realized how much I hate being connected to everything, all the time. It truly is a gift and a curse. It got to a point where it was almost unhealthy for me. It is so important to live in the moment and be present. I have realized though that that it is easier said than done. I really plan to work on this over the next year and enjoy the time I have with the people and in the places I go. You never know what can happen, and I don’t really want to be so dependent on my phone. I want to live my life and be happy with it exactly the way it is, and not live it looking down at my phone.
2. Be Kind To Strangers // Be Kind
Over the past year it seems like I was fortunate enough to travel to a wide variety of places around the world and I have come the realization how important it is to spread kindess. My friends and I rang in the new year in Nashville (by the way WHAT A PLACE) and last night shortly after the ball drop (well music note in music city ya know) a random women walked past me, but made sure to stop and complement my pants. She didnt have to do that. She didnt know me from Adam, but kindness just radiated from her. It was so genuine and made me realize how important it is to spread joy. Our world has changed a lot in 2016 and one thing I personally could use more of and give more of is kindess. Kindess is a choice–I encourage you to spread it in 2017.
3. Give Grace
Eariler in the semester I was sturggling in a certain friendship situation and a friend told me to “give them grace.” At first I didn’t really get it, but the more I thought about it the more it made sense. You just have to remember that people are the way they are and often we cannot control that. We cannot worry about what we cannot control. As hard as it may be to understand that and as hard as it may be to fix that or be angry you must love the person through it and give them grace. We will be happier if we will just allow ourselves to do that in this new year.
4. Find a Church Home
I kind of slipped out of my church going habbits when I was away several weekends during the spring semeter. It is not an excuse, but it just goes to show that how easy it is to get in the habit of somehting like not going to chruch on a regual basis. I kept up with my devotional and tried to watch church online some weekends, but there is just something I enjoy about being in a church on Sunday mornings. I am going to be praying for a new home and a new opportunity to grow in this way. FORT WORTH PEEPS- If you have some recommdendations hit me up! I know God will lead me to the correct place at the correct time.
5. Write More
Again, it is obvious how easy it is to get into a pattern and writing became a thing I just did not make time for, but I also noticed how healthy writing was for me. It is a way for me to express myself, and I find that it really makes me happy. I don’t necessarily want to nail down a schdeule, but I just want to take the time or be given the time to write more frequently. Southern and Thankful plans to be a little more on the active side in 2017— WOO HOO !!!
It is not that I was dying for 2016 to be over, but I am not sad about a new year by any means. A New Year for me is always a wonderful opportunity in my eyes. Here’s to leaving the negative, unnecesary worries, and troubles in 2016. Here’s to leaving whatever you want in 2016 and bringing whatever you want into 2017. Here’s to a New Year. Here’s not to a new me, but to a stronger me. Here’s to being Southern, and here’s to being thankful. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Southern and Thankful