[This post is personal. Consider yourselves forewarned.]
24 years ago today, I graced (pun intended) this earth with my presence. Y'all, I'm 24. Wow. When did that happen?
Now, I don't know about the rest of you, but ever since I turned, oh sayyy 21, I have wanted to run in the opposite direction every time my birthday rolls around. With each passing year, it somehow becomes less of a festive opportunity in which to gorge myself on too much cake and celebrate life, but moreso a rather stressful and tense time of self evaluation. A nit-picking of every detail and failure of the past year. That may sound harsh & ridiculous, but after all, we are our own worst critics, are we not? I know I certainly am.
You know, I wish that in regards to age I was delightfully whimsical & carefree. I wish that I could just come to terms with having laugh lines by 30 & say that age is just a number...but I can't. I don't want lines, wrinkles, the messy responsibility of adulthood, or the discombobulated stress of my early (going on mid) twenties. I want to stay young with my whole life ahead of me & the world at my feet-but I also just want to have it together already. Probably not an attainable goal, right? Because who of us really has it together?
Guys, all I'm saying is this. 23 was a hard year. Hell. I'll even go as far as to say that 23 was a bad year. I wish that I could sugar coat the tail end of that sentence by adding on an ever hopeful, "but I learned a lot." But if I'm being honest here? I don't know what I learned. Or that I learned anything at all. At this point I feel quite honestly surprised that I even made it through in one piece. Because, honestly (there's that word again), I feel like I've never witnessed such extreme hardship and testing in literally every single area of my life. My marriage. My work. My relationships. My faith. Myself. All of it. 23 was the year in which it all came crashing down around me, and I became reluctant to even pick up the pieces because there were so many of them. I didn't even know how to feign interest in attempting to glue my life back together in hopes that it would maybe resemble at least a second-rate picture of what it used to be. So I didn't. I became apathetic. Distant. No longer present. A vague shadow of the human who I had actually been for so many years prior. I merely hoped that it would all come to resolve itself in it's own time. But it didn't. 23 left me feeling hollowed and broken, much like those gut wrenching sobs that render no noise but simultaneously shake you to the very core of your being (of which I became far too acquainted with this year). And you know what? The truth of it is, I'm still not sure that I'm ready to put my faith in things getting turned around. Because the brutal and terrifying reality is...what if they don't?
Now, at this point you must be reading this (and if you still are, bless you) thinking, where is the turnaround? Is it coming? Is this just going to make me walk away wondering why I didn't end my life 15 minutes ago, or has she actually got a point beyond 23 being the worst year of her life? Well, I think I do. At least I sure hope so.
If you're anything like me, you use music to mark specific periods of your life. Songs, so easily tied to memories, become the mile markers that you use to measure the distance of how far you've come, and the journey that you took to get where you are. Resolution, by Matt Corby, was one of those songs that marked this year for me. It played on repeat for hours, even days on end, and I'm not even sure why. I just couldn't stop listening to it. And then one day, I actually listened. Resolution. You'll be my resolution. And I thought, what does that even mean? Resolution has always made me think of New Year's, and all of the flakey promises that people make to themselves with full intentions of breaking them a week later. What significance does that really hold?
Well, the root of it is a lot fresher to me. Somewhat of a clean, less New Yearsed and abused blank slate. A word that I honestly don't hear being used that often (maybe I'm just hanging around the wrong people). Resolute. Resolute. Say it out loud to yourself, let yourself feel the weight of it's meaning. Now, in my mind I've always known what resolute means-it's a simple word. There is nothing complex or particularly interesting about it, right? But when I googled it, I realized that it's beyond simple-it's a word that is direct, and doesn't allow for misinterpretation. A word that cuts straight to the chase & isn't afraid to meet your gaze head on: admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering.
What a brilliant combination. As soon as I read that, I thought: yes! That's it! That's what I WANT to be. That is exactly what I want to describe me. Not well intentioned or floundering, but admirably purposeful. Determined. Unwavering. Unwavering in my determination. In my purpose. In my marriage. In myself. These are things that I aspire to be. My determination to better myself, to work hard at my job, to be intentional in forming relationships, to seek out my Father with the utmost dedication. These are all things that I desire. And this is what I would like to declare that 24 will be.
23 may have been a hard year. It may have been the worst year. But regardless of what happens in this 24th year of life that I've been given, it is my choice of how I want to live it. And I choose to be resolute-in ALL things. I think you should too.
P.S.- This word WILL be my next tattoo.