I cannot live in a world where everything is predetermined, an ant world in which there is no element of choice. I do believe that we all have a share in the writing of our own story… Sometimes the very impetus of overcoming obstacles results in a surge of creativity. It is in our responses that we are given the gift of helping God write our story. (L’Engle, 192)
I find Madeleine L’Engle really insightful, and in looking at my collection of notes from Walking on Water, that quote seemed a good one to start the year with. A lot of people enjoyed Donald Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life, where Miller muses about thinking about his life as a story and what kind of story he wants it to be. I liked the idea of thinking of my life as story. I’ve read some books about fiction writing since then, and will be starting a fiction writing class next week. Stories are on my mind.
I chose a path last year that made my own story more interesting to me. I moved to Southeast Asia for an indefinite amount of time. I met some fascinating people who have amazing stories. I applied to grad schools and got accepted, though I ended up not going. I took multiple classes. Though it wasn’t part of the original plot, I went to India and Western Europe. I also read a book on optimism, one that thoroughly changed my perspective of life for the better.
There were obstacles. There always are. Some I enjoyed overcoming. Others blindsided me. Some of my own expectations hit a wall. My plan A, which included pursuing a Masters in International Human Rights at DU, crashed to the ground, leaving me wondering what was to be. Lots of traveling left me exhausted for months. And while mostly feeling up, I’ve had a few moments of frustration and doubt the last 5 months in the states.
Despite those moments, and the challenges still to be faced, I feel like the protagonist (me) has grown quite a bit on this journey, and that overcoming obstacles has helped me to feel like more is possible. I don’t know where the story is going though. I used to struggle more with this ‘hope’ thing. Now, I’m more at peace with realizing that I don’t know the future, and that good things can happen. Like, I don’t know if I will ever get married. I’d like to, but not to just anyone. Earlier in life, I would get down about it, almost in a despairing fashion. Now, I am hopeful that it could happen. It may not, but it can. I’d like to embrace that a lot of good things can happen in my life story, and in the stories of people around me. I wish you all hope in the coming year, and that your stories may be full of life.