If I've learnt anything it's this. Always Hope
I cannot believe it's almost a year since my high school graduation. I remember how excited everyone was, how anxious I was about everything that was to follow. While my classmates spent the days before May 30th waiting impatiently to wear dresses they'd ordered months before (didn't go looking for mine until a few days before graduation), I might have spent the last month wondering if it was too late to go back a year and study my math syllabus again, and this time do it better. If it weren't for my family and four of my closest friends who felt the same way, I'd probably have never showed up that glorious day. Oh well.
The next few months after that were pretty much the same as the days before graduation. Full of fear, regret and discontent. The first thing I wish I'd been told about taking a year off -even when it's not by choice is to forget the past and Embrace The Moment. To quote my pastor, the most powerful resource God has given us in our youth is time. You have this time you'll never have again so don't dwell in the terrible days which are now gone. Clear your mind and move past it all. If there's a chance to change anything from then, seize the day! If there isn't don't give up. ALWAYS HOPE.
Always Hope. If I've taken anything from my gap year it's this: to hope. Always. Things won't be the same forever. Always hope, always hope, always hope. With hope, my faith grew stronger. Nothing is more comforting than knowing that the best is yet to come. No matter what the situation is, always hope. I've hoped and faith-ed and seen everything fall into place. Always hope. Always Hope!
Somehow, everything changes eventually. Suddenly I was hopeful. Liberated, avid, happier and ready to conquer. Is this how spring feels? If I were to go back in time, the exact time it became so clear I was going to spend a year home, mostly without a plan, I'd have jumped with joy. Besides pain, and that it doesn't last forever, I'm learning so much about life and myself. Things I didn't know like how I might actually have a minor spending issue. Other than jumping with joy, I'd probably have myself this:
Learn something new. (Many new things?), Take driving lessons, take piano lessons, learn the butterfly stroke -or any new swimming stroke, start a blog :P, go to the gorillas and don't forget to dream big and wild. That's the basic list. The other list would have had something major like: Don't Fear. And without intending to repeat myself; always hope.
I may not have checked everything off this list now but I'm so grateful for all the unexpected lessons, for all the love from family (Man, family!) from friends, from teachers and from every kind soul. I would probably never have known myself as "Both art and artist", never have received all those kind emails, never have touched a person's life, never have changed mine.
Gap Year: To take or not to take -that's not the question. I've changed, my life has changed. I know a little more about myself and that has made all the difference. I can face failure, I can accept change and I know whom I have believed and I'm full persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have entrusted to him until that day. There is therefore not much to worry about now that I know who & whose I am.
There is no loss. If at all I have gained so much and my heart flows with gratitude for such a time. It is everything and more than I hoped for.
Did I mention I have four more months to be grateful for?