New Years Resolutions + Thoughts on Personal Growth

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Happy New Year! I hope 2017 is treating you kindly. 

There is something about a new start, even one as arbitrary as a changing year, that makes me feel so optimistic. I am not usually one to write out a list of New Years resolutions, mostly because I am afraid I’ll aim too high or too low and set myself up for failure. For example–if I set a goal to work out every day and I can’t make that happen, then I’ve failed. But if I set a goal to work out once a week, am I selling myself short? Or worse, what if I can’t even manage my “safety” goal and then really feel like a failure? 

Yeah, I’m probably over-thinking it. So I don’t set resolutions. But I am participating in 21 days of prayer and fasting with my church, and I notice that I have been praying for specific things and ways I would like to grow this year. Which I guess are resolutions in their own way, just not ones that you could quantify in a list.

One realization I’ve had during this time of daily prayer and scripture is that I’ve been living my life with a spirit of fear. This isn’t really news to me or anyone who knows me well. I have always been anxious, since I was a child, and it’s something that I struggle with. There are good weeks and bad weeks, but there is always that anxiety lingering just below the surface even on the good weeks. 

BUT God really revealed to me just how much I have been letting fear consume me and determine my decisions in ways that I didn’t even realize. I have been dwelling on my regrets lately, and looking back on decisions I made out of fear and distrust, rather than making the decision that was best for me. I don’t want to live that way, so I’ve been taking small steps to live without unnecessary fear and anxiety–especially over things that don’t matter. This is just the start of a long process, but I already feel great about it and excited to continue to grow.

Do you make resolutions, or do you have a theme for 2017? In what ways are you hoping to improve this year? Leave a comment below and let me know!

xoxo,

– Hannah 

2015 Recap

 
The Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris, France

The New Year always makes me nostalgic, and usually I try to keep my sentimental feelings off social media. But if you know me in person you know that communication is my number one core value and I love giving and receiving advice. I think that each of us has a little bit of wisdom inside of us and collectively we have a wealth of knowledge and experience, but too often we’re afraid to open up and share it.

Today I’m spending the day unpacking but mostly reflecting on everything that happened in 2015, and I feel God telling me “this is the year you faced your fears.” I’m really terrified of not having control over my life and opening myself up to criticism. So I lived in Paris where I barely understood the language and forced myself to speak kindergarten-level French. I took a class on public speaking and allowed myself to be criticized and come out better and stronger. Those two things ended up being the best experiences I had this year.


I graduated college. I was really paranoid that after all this time it wouldn’t happen. It didn’t seem real. I kept checking my grades, afraid that I had missed something and would fail a class and have to go to school for another semester and everyone would know. But my GPA was the highest this semester that it has ever been in college.

My three-year, living-in-the-same-city relationship turned into a 16-hour-time-difference, 24-hour-flight-away relationship, and I’m learning how to be together but apart, alone but not lonely.


Sparrow and Lace Photography

I’ve moved apartments and places four times. I left New York. I moved in with my best friend just an hour away from my little brother and sister, so I can watch them grow and love on them. I’m pursuing real happiness, not social media likes or the “coolness” that comes from living in the coolest city in the world. And I’m still scared. But also really, really excited for what’s next.

Xoxo,

– Hannah