2016.

I struggle.

I struggle with life.

Some days I just—I just feel I’m not very good at it. In fact, most days I have moments that I simply feel like a failure. “At what?” you ask? I’m not even sure. Maybe it’s career or fitness or wellness or…whatever. I just carry it—this burden of wanting to do more or be more than I am.

I learned a great deal about myself over the last few months. In the fall, I intended to accomplish a host of things prior to the close of the year, but I was waylaid by a blatant abandonment of my higher aims in favor of easier ends. At the time, I thought I was doing alright for myself and my household. Now, I look back and see laziness and folly.

Truth be told, I’d all but quit writing in favor of fleeting pursuits–flipping stuff on eBay to build my own collection and make a quick buck to get us through whatever new financial hurdle presented itself. If I had invested the same time, effort, and energy into my writing, well, I might have really made things happen. Sure, I would have fewer bucks in the bank, but I might have something more valuable.

I took December to reassess and regroup for the coming year. I asked a number of folks who know me well what they would say are my strengths and skills. Writing, creativity, and empathy were very high on the list, far higher than I would have thought or expected. In fact, many things I thought about myself were different than what others thought.

Which leads me to the main theme for this entry: I’m entering 2016 rather lost. I have good, concrete things coming this year, but I carry this sense of—I don’t know—confusion, regarding where I should focus, what I should do, where I should strive, and why. Part of me thinks I should dive fully into writing and keep ebay to a minimum effort with maximum impact (which means selling in lots, a tactic that almost always leads to a lower net return per item); another part of me feels I should abandon both and just let myself exist in 2016 without extra projects and self-imposed deadlines. I pray for direction, and several ideas come to mind. I have looked for affirmation to do them. I’m still unsure.

It’s hard for me to enter a New Year without definitive plans for what I hope to achieve or where I desire to grow in the next 12 months. I have entered most years with a sense of drive and purpose. This year, I’m just looking at the coming day and hoping to use it well.

Frankly, I do not know what is to come. I know God is in it, will work through it, and ultimately seize his glory by it.  I just pray I can discover my role, my part, my—my purpose, I suppose. I will keep praying for revelation; I will keep holding to faith and hope. I will be grateful for all that is and expectant for what is to come. I will try to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly. I will seek the knowledge of God and attempt to take up my cross, in some way. I will cultivate a heart of contentment in want or in plenty. I trust God knows my heart; I trust that he has me on course, even when I do not see the destination. That is enough for me (or at least it should be).

I’m hesitant to post this, even as I type it. What will it mean to put this into the ether. What will it do for anyone’s good or benefit? Will others read this and gain some catharsis? Or am I simply another millennial, entitled and ignorant, arrogant and naive, narcissistically seeking a justification for self-ambition and vain conceit? Probably the latter, but God can use anyone. I’m very thankful for that.

Here’s to 2016, whatever it may hold.

Thanks for reading,

C

About C.J.:
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