Every time I have stopped to reflect on this year, I think how apparent it is that “Life just keeps happening.”
I have experienced quite a bit of life over the past twelve months. I’ve persevered through one of the most difficult chapters of my life. I exited a serious romantic relationship just as I was preparing to finish my Master’s research project. Then, I experienced a chaotic transition as I finished up my Master’s degree and conducted my #sasearch. I wrapped up five summers of service to my home away from home, at Seneca Hills Bible Camp. Finally, I accepted a job five states away from where I had spent most of my life, six hundred plus miles from the place I have called home.
I’ve learned dozens of lessons this past year. I have grown in more ways than I could have imagined. There have been challenges I could not have anticipated. I’m a generally optimistic person. It does not take much for me to highlight the positive outcomes of even the most trying circumstances.
So as I am reflecting, I think the #OneGoodThing that I want to highlight is my move to South Carolina, and my transition into the #SAPro world. I began working as an Academic Advisor for Lander University in August of this past year. It has been such an adventure learning the campus, the students, and the various responsibilities of the job.
As I have adjusted to my new life, and my new role, I’m reminded of two things that I think anyone could benefit from:
1. Growth is almost always accompanied by a level of discomfort.
The former executive director of the summer camp I worked at told us “If you are never being challenged then you are never going to grow.” Moving to a town where I had no community and no connections was challenging, and at times lonely. I had to put myself out there, and find ways to connect meaningfully to my new home. Transitioning to working full-time meant I needed to manage my hours more efficiently to ensure that I was taking time to do things that mattered to me. Adjusting to a new office, and a new campus, was a slow and at times, painful, transition – which leads me to my second piece of wisdom…
2. Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.
This is a tried and true platitude that has, for the most part, proved itself over and over again as I have encountered various situations in my new life. It would be easy for me to get down about making new friends, or struggling to connect with my co-workers. It would be easy to get frustrated with my students when they continue to make the same mistakes. It would be easy to grumble about the weather or a slow day at the office. I’ve found that a little smile can go a long way. A glass half full outlook has served me well in that regard.
However, the most impactful and significant thing that I have learned is that being a friend (at any level) requires intentionality, discipline, and creativity. Being seen and known and loved is absolutely worth it.
Life just keeps happening. And it will continue to simply keep happening. I hope that wherever you are, you are taking the steps to act purposefully. Create meaning in your every-day moments.
This post is part of our #OneGoodThing series for December. Given the numerous troubling things we have experienced together during the year of 2016, and all of the disagreement, we wanted to prove that 2016 wasn’t all bad. We will hear from #SApros about a memory, experience, or moment that was GOOD that happened to them in 2016. For more info, please see Doug’s intro post. Be sure to check out the other posts in this series too!
> BONUS <
Podcast With Dave Kerpen on Authenticity/ Branding on Social Media