Last year, on December 31st, I wrote a post about growth. I talked about the good and the bad that make up the times of our lives. I talked about how we all have a choice: Will we grow and learn from these times, and be generous and grateful for will we have? Or will we . . . Most of you can guess what the opposite reactions to those listed might be.
When I wrote that post and said that I hoped we would choose growth, I was mostly referring to my own growth in Asia during the previous three years. I was remembering the culture shock and the cold showers and the day-to-day isolation and the discomfort and uncertainty that frequently accompanies living in a foreign country. I was remembering how I went from hating my surroundings — to loving them . . . From succumbing to my circumstances — to mastering them. I was talking about the life-altering change to my worldview that I owed entirely to a place I’d previously never ever thought I’d go . . .
Truth be told, I had absolutely no idea what growth would mean for me in the United States, in my home state of California, in the coming year.
Somewhat unexpectedly, though, this year has in fact been a year of tremendous growth for me, if in a very different way than the growth I experienced in Asia. This year has brought new realizations about what I want to do with my life (it isn’t journalism school), and how I should love and treat myself (much more and better than I used to), and that all things can eventually work out for good (my parents’ divorce, as an example), and that love really does exist — even for a silly girl like me.
Perhaps the greatest thing I’ve learned this year, though, is to trust: To trust that things will eventually work themselves out — if we let them. If we give life our all, and treat others the way we want to be treated, and never give up, and never give up . . . Eventually, something good is bound to come our way. At the end of 2013, I want to take a moment to thank each and every one of my readers for giving me reason to believe in mankind this year. Your friendship means the world to me and has, in part, helped teach me many of the lessons I just mentioned this past year. There is a lot of bad out there, but there’s a lot of good, too. It all depends on what you’re looking for . . . And right now, dear reader, I’m looking at you.
Happy New Years!! Much love to you in the coming year.
“Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.” — Anne Frank
Beauts as always Jess. And Happy New Year to you (and the new beau) too!
Thank you so much, Sean. I hope your new year is off to a great start!
Best to you in the new year, Jess.
Thank you, Jeff! I’ll be getting back into the swing of blogging soon, too! Hope your new year is off to a great start.
Happy 2014 Jess!!
The same to you, Bupe! :)
Happy new year, my dear friend from a far-away land! :D
Thank you so much, Subh! Your friendship means the world to me! Someday we will meet!
Happy New Year! Feliz Año Nuevo!!! que todo lo bueno te llegue en este nuevo comienzo
Thank you so much, Daniel! Feliz Año Nuevo to you, too! I hope your new year is off to a great start!
Happy New Year :)
Thank you, Amresh! The same to you! :)
I really hope this new year grants you many opportunities. Thanks for the support too!
Happy New Year!!
Aww, thanks Steve. That means a lot. I definitely hope this year brings about some new work opportunities — for both of us! Happy New Year to you, too, and I look forward to continuing our friendship in the coming year!
I felt growth in a big way too this year Jessica. Getting counseling is something I think all of could benefit from. I know I have. I am learning to trust and learning to surround myself with people who foster that trust. As always thanks for your insights. Terri
Aww, Terri. Thank you. I chickened out and deleted the part about counseling, but I may bring it up again soon. The right counselor can be a big benefit if we are open to it. You are right about surrounding ourselves with people who foster trust. An open and all-accepting relationship is showing me just how guarded and hurt I have been… I hope this new year brings wonderful things to you. Someday we will have to do coffee! Much love, Jess
Awesome New Years post friend. May the determination it takes to never give up pay endless dividends in 2014. I wish you love, joy, peace, and prosperity in the days and years to come. And oh yeah…..Keep riding too.
Thank you, John. I hope the same for you, and no worries — I will never quit riding! I know you won’t, either! Hope your new year is off to a great start! :) Jess
I really like your last paragraph. Hits home for me in a lot areas of my life, and what I should tell myself all the time. Trust is something that is both learned and earned. Sometimes I think we are afraid to trust because we want to avoid the “pitfalls” of trusting, which really are just lessons in disguise. We always have something to learn from those we meet around us, and also most importantly from ourselves as we grow.
I am a pessimist so I don’t know if things will ever work out and good things will come our way…but I am inclined to think so. So I will keep positive and hope things will turn out for the better. Happy New Year, Jess. See you around :)
Mabel, I like everything about your comment. Yes, trust is something to be learned and earned. Trust is hard — at least it is for me. Life experience has taught me not to trust, and to guard myself. Letting go of that isn’t easy. I will be 30 in a couple of months, and the truth is my 20s have not been easy years. Pessimism is easy when nothing ever seems to go right year after year after year. That’s why I say we can’t ever give up. Ever. Because hope is a powerful force, and if we can hang onto that, well… Something good is bound to turn up — eventually.
Hope your new year is off to a great start! Much love! Jess
Happy new year Jess 😊
Happy New Year to you, too, dear! Keep writing and taking photos. I love keeping up with you and your beautiful part of the world! Best, Jess
So love that you call me ‘dear’ 😃😃 you sound like my grandma who I loved loads. Looking forward to all your doings in 2014, would miss your inspiration if you stopped! X
Aww, I guess “dear” is kind of a grandmotherly word. But, somehow, it fit! And I could never stop writing — ever!
Thanks again for your wonderful text. Very kind , very real ^^ really liked !!
Happy new year :) Hope this will year will bring your dreams true in real life. You wil have success and enjoy your life. Take care of yours. God bless you. My best wishes are there for you !!
Thank you, Chuda. You are always very sweet! I hope the same for you, and that your new year is off to a great start!! :)
Happy, happy New Year, Jessica!
Thank you! The same to you! I hope your new year is off to a great start! :) :)
Happy 2014 Jess! Cheers to the old, cheers to the new.
Thank you, Thdem. The same to you! And I really like your thought of “Cheers to the old, cheers to the new.” The old is what has made us who we are and should never be thrown away.
Hope your new year is off to a great start!!
With trust comes the pleasure of slowing down and knowing that everything is evolving at its own pace. It’s only exhausting going against the current.
That is a very good point, Carol. I fully agree. It’s not an easy lesson to learn, though. So many people spend their entire lives as though they’re in a race. I know I fight that tendency sometimes. Patience isn’t easy!
Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts. I hope your new year is off to a great start! :) Jess
Happy New Year!
Thank you! The same to you!!
What a great Post Jess! It has been a pleasure reading and getting to know you this year as well. I hope there is lots of love in your new year, lots of growth along with some good health and surrounded by nice people. You deserve all these things. Happy 2014!
Thank you so much, Andy! That means a lot. I hope the same for you! It’s been a pleasure getting to know you and your family this last year, too. Can’t wait to see what the new year brings for all of us! Best wishes, Jess
You are a sweet, courageous lady, and I love it when I see that I have news from you. It is always special just as you are special! Blessings are in store for you in this new year, of that I am sure.
You are so incredibly sweet, Marie — and far too kind to me! My holidays were very busy and my time on the Internet very limited. I’m looking forward to getting back to the swing of things with my blog and my friends’ blogs now — and that includes yours! I hope your new year is off to a great start. It is lovely to know you. :) Best wishes, always. :) Jess
aww. i enjoy reading how you’ve grown this year, especially in ways you didn’t expect. have a great new year Jess! look forward to reading more of what God has in store for you this new year.
Thank you so much, Sophia! I’ve enjoyed seeing your blog grow and am looking forward to seeing where God leads you this next year, too. And sorry for my delayed response! My schedule should be getting back to normal soon. :)
Happy 2014 Jess! As I’ve reminded several of my friends… through the ups and downs, the confusing and the obvious, the seized and the unseized opportunities… strive to keep the trend moving upward!
Professor Taboo, that is a great and excellent thought and point. Always upward, never backward, with chin up! Easier said than done sometimes, but as another reader reminded me above, patience is a virtue and trying to rush to finish lines only leads to exhaustion and sometimes confusion! Thanks so much for being my friend. I look forward to getting to know you even better this next year! Best, Jess
Trust is a powerful thing, isn’t it. Difficult to gain, easily broken. I’m so happy that you have this in your life. Have a great 2014 x
Those are true words, Mark. Trust *is* a powerful thing… and so important for healthy relationships and personal well-being. I have learned this the hard way. (Haven’t we all?) Hope your new year is off to a great start and wish you the best in the coming year!! x Jess
you’re on a fantastic adventure, enjoy it all. tony
Tony, thank you. the same to you. x jess
Great review and take from your year in 2013… Best thing I took from this post is ‘trust’ as it seems that it is the key recipe in enjoying life. Trusting yourself, others and most importantly trusting that all is going to be well no matter what decisions/crises come. Go forward boldly and make the happiness happen.
Wish you the best in ’14 Jessica!
Thank you for pointing that out, Randy. I hadn’t thought of it that way, but I do believe you’re right: Trust *is* an important ingredient for enjoying life. Without it, we are always on our toes, never relaxed, just waiting for the next bad thing to occur… And when we are like that, we can’t see the good even when it hits us in the face — we miss it completely and hence continue the cycle of agitation and mistrust.
One reader pointed out above that doing anything but trusting that things will eventually work themselves out only leads to exhaustion. Not to say that we don’t all have to do our part to make things happen in our lives and in others’, but I do believe she is right. Sometimes we just need to let things happen.
Thanks so much for your continued friendship. I wish you all the best in the coming year and hope that it’s off to a great start so far!! :) Best, Jess
We learn from the experience of yesterdays to live right today so we could have better tomorrows :D Happy New Year Jessica!
Well put, Sam! So true! Thank you so much for your friendship. I hope your new year is off to a great start, and I look forward to chatting more with you in the coming year. Happy New Year to you, too!! Much love, Jess
Hey Jess, Happy new year to you :-) Love the bit ‘for succumbing to my circumstances – to mastering them, something I suspect will be my 2014 challenge!!! Wishing you the best for 2014 and many, many more awesome blog posts :-)
Thank you so much, Lianne! And, yes, you of all people definitely know what mastering rather than succumbing to one’s circumstances might mean!! Thank you so much for your friendship, and I can’t wait to read more of your blog posts, too. I hope your new year is off to a great start!! Best, Jess
Awesome post Jess!
In many ways 2013 has been a year of tremendous growth for me too. I could easily relate with you.
To trust that things will eventually work themselves out — if we let them. I’ll have to learn that.
I know I am late. Belated New Year wishes. :)
I’m late, too, Allwin! Haven’t kept up with my blog at all for several weeks! I am just now starting to get back to my normal routine.
I hope your new year is off to a great start. I’m so glad you can relate to what I wrote. It’s always good to know we’re not alone! And yes… Patience and trust aren’t easy. They are lessons I am continuing to work on daily.
Best wishes, friend! :) Jess
Enjoy the challenges ahead, I’m sure you’ll thrive wherever you are. Faith and trust are great for forming a positive mindset. Be well♥
Lovely post Jessica. Great advise at the end. I’m one of those people that has to learn to trust that things will eventually work itself out and just let go. Thank you for the kind words. Happy New Year!