I’m going to hoist up my nerd flag, hear the squeaking? There it goes, flying at the peak of the roof of this blog. It’s up, you’ve been warned.
Well here we are, 2013 is on it’s very last legs. The old man has hours left on the clock and bouncing, brand new 2014 is on it’s way, it’s practically here. A fresh start, a blank calendar, a snow white new beginning to do something completely different, right?
Well yes. But also no. Not really.
Tomorrow morning you will wake up in YOUR house, with the dishes from YOUR new years eve shenanigans still in the sink, maybe you’ll have a mild headache from said shenanigans, a bit of 2013 following you into the new year.
The point is that 2014 will still feature something that played a key role in determining the outcome of 2013. It will contain you.
If you don’t approach your New Year with this in mind, I can’t see how you’ll succeed. Because really, truly wherever you go… there you are.
I’ve made a thousand million trillion mistakes in my life. I got a tattoo I don’t love and I dated a few total jerks. I once bought a car before test driving it and I chose my first college based on the laptop they’d give me.
I’m not saint in the good choices department.
But the one mistake I’m through making is this one: I’m done ignoring the continuity of me.
This plays out in two specific ways
1) I’m done transposing other people’s goals, habits, successes and subscriptions onto my own life. I’m a specific person and I have to take my preferences and personality into account when I make action plans in my own life. I can learn, I must grow, but I have to play to my strengths and know myself and my call.
2) I’m done ignoring all the mes who have gone before, I’m done being ashamed of them. I’m done hiding those pictures in a box and pretending that we’re not the same people, that we are not me.
I want to know myself and own my life, from start to right this second. I want to own it, and in a bittersweet way, I want to love it.
I don’t know how these two things would change your life, but for me they’re huge. They stop me in my tracks when I look around and feel inadequate for who I’m not and they offer me grace and a chance to love myself in spite of who I’ve been.
You know what was the catalyst for these revelations? It was the Christmas Special of Doctor Who. Here’s where I get nerdy, hang with me.
On Christmas day the BBC show “Doctor Who” (with which I am in love) said goodbye to the 11th Doctor, played by Matt Smith. (The Doctor regenerates as the same being in different bodies with different personality quirks. Read more here if you’re in the least bit curious. Then make a resolution to catch up on the show in 2014. Do it, get past the first season before you quit, trust my stamp)
Anyway, the last few lines of the show were a speech by the departing doctor and perfectly summed these feelings I’ve been mulling over and learning as I store away one year in return for a new one.
CLARA: You, you are the Doctor.
ELEVEN: Yep. And I always will be. But times change and so must I…We all change when you think about it, we’re all different people, all through our lives, and that’s okay, that’s good you gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be. I will not forget one line of this, not one day, I swear. I will always remember when the Doctor was me.
If you are a Whovian, those words will cause tears and if you’re not I hope they at least give you pause. I hope you can see the concept in spite of the geekery I’m throwing at you.
2014 is something new, yes, it is. We aspire to become newer, better versions of ourselves. It’s a new chance to be a new you, this is good stuff. But you will only make something of it if you make peace with all the yous you’ve been. If you name them, own them, bring them along for the ride.
If you see your story as this continuous and ongoing narrative. 2014 isn’t a brand new year, it’s a brand new chapter in the book of you. And as Jesus followers we are people of second, third and seventy-seventh chances.
We become new creatures as life brings us along with it’s storms and it’s peaceful valleys, but when we put up barriers, when we try to split our souls, when we refuse to take into account the essence of ourselves… that’s when our souls feel divided, when we become frantic and wild creatures, adopting things to cover up who we’re afraid we might be or who we have been.
So I welcome the newness and the hope of 2014, with open arms. 2013 has been a wonderful, terrible, beautiful shaping journey and I’m thankful for it.
It was hard.
We moved home, said goodbye and then hello! Kel and I slept apart every weekend. We lived on a half salary and bled our bank accounts dry. I relapsed into grief driving by the cemeteries and train tracks where I lost my parents.
We fell apart and then God tenderly rebuilt us into these new people who are still the same people we were on this day last year, essentially.
And God Bless it, I want to be the me he made me to be. Any year that involves steps closer to the Eden pure version of me shall be counted as a gift, a success, a good chapter in the novel of my life.
May you feel the same way about all that awaits you and all that you leave behind. May you remember every line, every moment, may you be grateful in the best of ways,
May you always remember when 2013 was you.
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