Saturday, January 12, 2013

A New Year

It's a new year. Yes, 2013 is newly upon us, but it's also a new year for me, as I turned 27 yesterday. This is the time of year when I take a little time to reflect on the past year and think about what I'd like to happen in the future. To that end, I made a vision board.

I got the idea for a vision board from a blog I read, Woulda Coulda Shoulda. She made a collage out of magazines, and I liked the idea of having something to help focus my thoughts and desires. I brought home some old issues of magazines from work (perks of working in a reception area), and I spend some time paging through them and cutting out whatever caught my eye. When I assembled my collage, I used a few pictures from calenders to get started, then I just started adding things. I have a mix of pictures that I liked--things I thought were pretty or fun or just me--and words or phrases that encompassed the direction in which I'd like my life to head. Here's a picture (click for a larger version):

There is one thing that I purposely did not put on the collage, although it's still sort of a goal of this year. Boyfriend. I thought about it, but I didn't want to make it into something that I check off a to-do list. At my birthday party, however, my friends asked what one thing I'd like to happen in this next year. I thought about it, trying to decide how honest or serious to be, and I decided to just go for it. "I'd like to go on a date," I said.

I have never been on a date. I have hung out with guys who are friends, but I have never been on a real, actual, maybe-this-will-turn-into-something-romantic-down-the-line date. At this point in my life, I don't want to go on a date just to finally say I have. I can't picture myself as much of a casual dater. I have been giving a lot of thought lately to what I can do to get closer to my dream of marriage and kids. My counselor suggested that maybe I should start being more flirty with guys, like maybe post on a guy I admire's Facebook wall. One day I was on Facebook, staring at the profile of a guy I know, but I couldn't think of anything to say. Somehow writing "My therapist told me to post something flirty on your wall" didn't seem like it would get me many dates, so I just chuckled and moved on to something else. After a week of trying to figure out how to be flirty, I decided it's just not me. Neither is online dating. I sort of tried it, but my heart just wasn't in it.

The past few years I've been working steadily on becoming a better me. Because, as Andy Stanley puts it, "Am I the person the person I'm looking for is looking for?" And really, that's what my collage is about. Yes, I want to get married. But what if I don't? I still want to be a better person, a more whole, healthy person. I want to work through my inner demons, I want to enjoy my life and fill it with joy. I want a romantic relationship, but I don't want to put my life on hold in the meantime, nor do I want my happiness to revolve around my relationship status. It's really hard sometimes, especially on the days when loneliness creeps in. Whether or not I find love in 2013, however, I want to find joy and peace in my life. I want to learn to love myself, learn to love my friends, learn more about God's love, and maybe, just maybe, I'll find a little romance along the way.