We often hear the tagline, "New Year, New Me." but I've always disliked the notion that we leave the old year behind with all its difficulties, triumphs and learned lessons. As though entering the new year is as simple as closing one book and delving into the prologue of another.
As we buckle down and enter 2019, I don't want to simply forget about 2018. Now before you jump to conclusions and assume that I've had an amazing year and that it must be so easy for me to look back and appreciate the last 365 days, 2018 was personally, one of the most frustratingly difficult years for me. But even with that in mind, I don't enter the new year as a brand new person or a blank slate, but rather a person deeply affected by the happenings of the previous year.
While I didn't get to travel far this year, I had the opportunity to travel often. From being out east in Ottawa, ON to our neighbors to the south in Portland, OR and Los Angeles, CA and even numerous road trips and hiking in my own backyard, I was blessed with being able to travel with people close to me, both old and new. Soaking in the sights and appreciating the horizon whether I was in a different city, hiking the Stawamus Chief or looking out my own window is something that take for granted.
Venice Beach (LA, CA), Saturday Market (Portland, OR) and False Creek (Vancouver, BC)
“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again; to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.”
This year, I also had the opportunity to hone a craft that was somewhat of a pipe dream. From its inception years ago in a 400-square foot basement suite in Edmonton, AB during my years in graduate school to now, ice cream making went from being an uncommon occurrence (only when assigned to dessert-duty at potlucks) to the beginnings of a potential business. From hand-mixing in a glass pot to churning out pints at a time in a semi-commercial mixer, I spent hours this year trying new ingredients, troubleshooting recipes and best of all, sharing the ensuing delicious frozen results with friends, family and strangers alike.
Numerous Ice cream adventures.
2018 also marked the year where I returned to my first athletic passion, running. Unbeknownst to me at the time, my 2nd grade teacher Mrs. Gwen McFarland instilled the love of running in me by making us run laps around the school for popsicle sticks. While I ran throughout high school, I slowly fell away from it due to a busy schedule throughout university. I had always dabbled in running here and there, mostly running the Vancouver Sun Run with my family but after an injury plagued end to 2017, I was fortunate enough to stay healthy in 2018 and completed a personal best in both the Vancouver Sun Run (10km) and BMO Half-Marathon (21.1km). Finally, I ended the year by completing my 3rd ever half-marathon (and second on the year) during the Fall Classic Half-Marathon. From the air rushing past your face, to the electricity coming off the crowds/spectators, the pacing of shoes on the pavement, running reminds me that I am alive.
Above all else, I had the opportunity and blessing this year to cultivate strong relationships with those around me. From immersing myself in the church, joining a new life group, reuniting with old friends, community has played a large role in my 2018. In order to flourish, all relationships require constant nurturing, intention and love. I am incredibly thankful for all the people I have met this year, to those in passing, to those who have stayed to walk with me, and to those whose importance to me I have taken for granted. You have all played a vital role in my life this year and I thank you for the support that you have given me, the love you have shown to me and the amazing company you have been.
Relationships / Friendships / Family.
Reflecting on the past year, I would like to embrace all the pain, hard work, laughter and experiences I have been through. Instead of dwelling on negatives or hyper-focusing on positives, I want to find true enjoyment in every little moment. From the tears that were shed, to the aching laughter and talks late into the night. Knowing myself, I always try to search for meaning in the small things but sometimes you have to surrender yourself and know that you are never going to be fully in control. Trust, have faith and keep on setting your eyes on things above.
Trust, have faith and keep on setting your eyes on things above.