One of my goals for the New Year was to do more of what scares me. It is so much easier said that done. It is so much easier, when your feeling optimistic, and upbeat. I’ve made some purposeful strides in this area. Some of which I hope to share later on. What I’ve learned is, just because you’ve made a up your mind to do something, doesn’t make the fear go away.
I believed making up my mind wasn’t just the first step, it was the biggest step. It now made it real. This was going to happen now, because I am going to make this happen. I’m not just saying it, I intend it. Still fear lingered, and doubt hovered. I didn’t expect to feel so much fear and have so many doubts. At first, I thought they were legitimate reasons I created to justify some of my decisions. But here I am, ready to go, and the voices of fear and doubt were ready to go with me.
Some of my fears may be legitimate, but I know that I’ll never know whats on the other side until I go after it. Maybe fear is suppose to travel with me on this journey. Maybe it is suppose to make me stronger, build character. It is all new territory for me. I’ve never been one to take much chances. My fear of failing would leave me doing nothing. So no more “what ifs” or “should haves”. I’m going all the way.
Today is Martin Luther King Day. It is a national holiday. Our public schools and libraries are closed, some of the courts are closed, there isn’t any postal services, and many people are off from work today. All because of a holiday to honor this man, who played a prominent role in the fight for civil rights.
Today is also a National Day of Service. We are encouraged to see this day not just as a day off from work. It is a day where we are encouraged to give our time in our communities, and even outside our communities. A senior home, your local pantry, homeless shelters, Veteran Services, any place where we can serve, we are encouraged to do so.
One of my goals for this year was to become active in volunteering activities around the city as I had been in the past. I’m happy that I have been making good on that goal, and intend for it to be apart of my normal. When I volunteer, I’ve feel like I’m making a impact of someone no matter how small the task. Whether it is packing bags at a local pantry, sorting donated clothing or a English conversation group, I feel like I’m making a difference. The appreciation shown, makes me want to do more, and there is no measuring that.
Lastly, we can’t have Martin Luther King day without acknowledging how important he was to the fight for civil rights. My admiration for this man has grown so much since I first learned about him as a child, and as black Caribbean American, seeing the world now through adult eyes. I now really understand how much he risked, I now understand the discipline needed for civil disobedience, and I hear parts of his speeches I didn’t hear before. So we’ve come a long way, but we shouldn’t be complacent, we should always find ways to be better.
“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.
Its crazy that someone who reads as much as I do, have not read any of the books on any best books of 2015 lists. When I logged into amazon, I saw “The girl on the Train” as the number one book for so long, I don’t know when I stopped noticing. Yet it was months before I clicked on it and read the blurb. Even as intrigued as I was, I was distracted with other things, and couldn’t make myself interested. Until now.
As I went through the many “best of” list, I felt out of the loop, and well, I like to be in the know. So I’ve made it a goal to read any books from the best of 2015 list that interest me. Yes, they have to interest me. I can’t jump into a book simply because everyone is reading it. A little pressure and encouragement, may nudge me eventually though.
So I’ve requested “The Girl on The Train” from the local library, which is still hugely popular. I’m very excited to read it. I’ve also requested the following two books, “Confess” by Colleen Hoover and “All The Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven. Both were on best of 2015 lists, and both are very popular. I’m sure being named one of the best books of the year only added to the popularity.
I know that I can have these books on my e-book in one click, but I’ve decided to use the services of my library. I can wait, but once I get those books are in my hand, I am jumping in.
Goodbye, 2015. Hello, 2016.
Its hard to jump into 2016, without at the very least, glancing back at 2015. There were many ups and downs. There were times when it was more down than up, and sometimes more up than down. All of it made for good times and bad times.
The moments that I really treasured in 2015 were when I did something I was afraid of doing. I’ve made new relationships with coworkers, I’ve gone to places I was afraid of going, I went out more, I’ve made progress being social, going out, meeting new people, and I gained a level on confidence that I did not have but hope to continue to gain. I’ve found great bloggers on this platform. All of whom have been supportive and encouraging.
Of course 2015, was filled with its portion of disappointments. There were times I was depressed and discouraged. I was confused about the direction I was going, or wasn’t going and I questioned myself at every turn.
In 2016, I am going to continue to improve on the positive, and grow in areas where I struggled in 2016. I want to be deliberate about writing in this space more often. I’m even contemplating removing some of the anonymity of the blog. A step towards eventually removing it completely perhaps? It is scary for me to think about, but I’m open to it. I plan to do more things that scare me this year.