Coming to a Close: A Year’s End

52 week 1Another year has come and gone. One can’t help but seem to reflect on the past year. I ask myself several questions:

Did I achieve anything or just waste time?

2018 was a year. Not the best year. But to be fair these past few haven’t been great. Now that I think about it, the past 5 have sucked. So basically any year after my return home from my extended travels and missionary work has been a letdown.

It is always difficult to see the good when there has been so much let down. I broke a heart and had my heart broken. Opportunities didn’t work out. I felt alone, lost, and directionless. I just feel like I achieved very little. When you add all of that up, it is very easy to feel like a failure. What did I achieve? Not much in the way of personal and professional goals, assuming I had any, to begin with.

With all that being said, I have to admit that it ended on a high note. I took a risk this past fall and started attending a young adults ministry at a church in Ft Wayne. A church I did not attend and knew no one coming in. I came in skeptical, thinking it wouldn’t be for me, I will be the odd man out, and no one will acknowledge my existence. Now I somehow have a group of friends. Friends I do in fact see on a regular basis. Friends that I have found a dependable. This is fairly new. Or I should say fairly new for me since moving back to Indiana. I did have a group of friends, but life happens and it can be hard to get together. This group is a lot more intentional. It turns out there are more than a few people in a similar situation to me: lonely.

I brought in the new year with these friends. My new year was off to a good start. However, due to my job situation, there is a bit of anxiety and depression mounting. Come May, I am out of a job. I had a job interview with a church in the area just after Thanksgiving, thanks to my current boss (who clearly has my back). This would keep me in the area, and I would be able to keep this group of friends I had just made, which I fear losing so soon after finally gaining them. Sad to say the job fell through as of January 5th (as on the same day I write this post). What did not fall through were my friends. I had just seen them the night before for a game night. I texted one of them today after I got the rejection email. About a half hour later, I find myself at a Starbucks in Ft Wayne. So right off the bat, despite a crappy situation, I am shown the face of a true friend. The type of friend I have needed for a long time.

dsc04912I have to believe that God has a much MUCH bigger plan. This can be difficult, as I have had more than one opportunity fall flat in the past 5 years. And yet I learned something today. It wasn’t entirely from dwelling on the rather frustrating situation or the time spent with friends. It came in the form of photography. I am trying something new this year. I have no resolution, but a goal or theme if you will. My objective this year is to make and do. Not just sit idly by like I did last year, but more on this later. One of the objectives I am working towards is a 52-week photo challenge.

How do I mean? Ok, so week one is supposed to a self-portrait without showing ones face. I thought “cool, I will do some silhouette work”. As I talked about in the post over on The Kilted Artist, things didn’t turn out the way I had hoped. I could have said “screw it” and give up like I have countless times before, I decided to take what I was already doing and change this up. I changed focus and perspective without actually changing what was available for me to work with. What resulted was a much better photo than I had planned for. It better showcases who I am as an individual and as an artist. Now the key is to figure out how to take this lesson and apply it to my current situation.

dsc04917With what I have available to me, how can I use that to change focus and perspective to find a success that would have been greater than what resulted in the failure? If that makes any sense.

I don’t have an answer at this point. I have to trust that the Lord God knows what He is doing, and I can do what I can to learn to make myself more capable for not only career opportunities but for the rest of life as well. I need to readjust my expectations for this year as well as rearrange the order in which I learn a few new things. With a good amount of prayer, complete obedience to the Lord, and perhaps just a little bit of luck this might actually be a great year.


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