Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Unplanned Joys

It's a new year: 2013. Driving in the car the other day, my dad, the usual question-asker of the family, made us all go around and say what we will miss most about 2012. Our favorite memory, most treasured moment, or most unforgettable experience. Multiple occasions ran through my head. Was it traveling to Africa for a 3rd time on a missions trip with some of my best friends in the world? Or maybe the long-awaited trip to Barcelona that had taken months of planning by us 8. Who knew so many memories could be made in just 4 days? Or was it Graduation? The culmination of 12 years of hard work behind a desk, finally paying off. An exciting day, but too much sadness to be my favorite memory. In 2012 I experienced my first real job. I never expected playing with 4 year olds to be such hard work, but it was oh so rewarding. Looking back, I am so thankful to have had something to keep me occupied during what could have been a very long and hard summer. 2012 brought CBU into my life. Move in day was terrifying, but that place has come to feel like home, regardless of the hard times scattered throughout my time there so far. The past few months I've been able to start driving; a long awaited experience that living in Germany didn't let me have at the usual age of 16. And 2012 was the first year I really got to spend quality time with my nephew. He actually knows me now! I'm his auntie kk, someone that I wasn't really able to be to him with the Atlantic ocean between us. So with all those memories, and many more floating through my head, it's easy to see why answering my dad's question wasn't too hard. 2012 was a great year, and I have many memories to prove it.
Then he asked, "Ok, so then what are you looking forward to in 2013? I was silent. For quite a while. Nothing comes to mind when I think of 2013. I will finish out this semester and be done with my Freshman year of college, I will have a long summer of 4 months, where I hope to work at camp again with maybe another job on the side. Then I will resume life back at CBU in the fall, move into the apartments instead of the dorms and continue my education. None of that is particularly exciting to me at this point. I have no traveling planned, something that this international heart of mine will miss greatly. I have so many friendships scattered across America and I know 2013 will only separate us more as our lives get busier and we head in various directions. Not gonna lie, 2013 just seems like a crappy year.
But when I am tempted to be sad about what is now gone and what is to come, I have to remind myself that joy isn't always found in the big things. It's found in the spontaneous trips downtown at midnight with random people piled into cars too small to fit us all. It's found in long-talks with unexpected friends. It's found in a bike ride under the sun, helping to relieve the stress of those 4 papers you have to write. And as I look towards 2013, I can't predict those moments yet. But I have to trust that those moments will happen, despite the fact that none of them are written down on my calendar, unlike how many of the exciting moments of 2012 were. I'm excited for December 31, 2013, where I can look back on this year and say, wow it actually was a good year. I can't wait to experience the unplanned joys of 2013.

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