What We Find When We Go Looking

So I realize that it’s been two weeks since the start of 2016, and we’re all pretty much done talking about it. Trust me, I get it. So forgive me for not acknowledging that and throwing in my own two cents anyway.

In all honesty, I’m kinda ritualistic about the new year. Other people flock the gyms, but as for me, January is the month I pull out all the journals and desperately try to make sense of what I’m doing with my life. It’s a big, sometimes stressful task even though I personally think that the new year has unrealistic pressures and expectations already. It looks kinda like this:

I make the cliche resolutions list about the reading I want to spend time on and my handshake I want to improve. I set goals about the writing I want to get published and the internship I want to get. I even write up a yearly bucket list of the crazy wonderful things I hope will finally happen like Europe and road trips and whatever else I dream up. Quite frankly, it’s exhausting, and for some bizarre reason I get resolution and healing from that sort of process, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

The one habit I would recommend is really the only  thing I want to talk to you about in this post. See, being an English major, I like finding words for stuff. I like words in general and what they mean and what they represent. I like finding the right word. So not surprisingly, I do that for each year. For the last three years, I’ve selected a word that I want to make significant in the following months. It gives me time to focus on it and engage with it. It helps me to pay greater attention, which is the larger goal in the first place.

The word I chose is actually kind of anticlimactic, which is disappointing since I’m all about that flair and romantic drama. But the more I thought about it, the more no other word seemed to fit.

So that’s why 2016 is the year I choose to seek.

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You hear this word almost always in relation to a thing, an object. Seek advice, seek wisdom, seek beauty, seek the kingdom, seek something. I chose the word seek because I want to seek out all of it.

I don’t want to merely wait and accept what finds its way to me. Though I believe much of what is significant or meaningful to us seems to “find us” in a way, it’s much easier for illumination and discovery to stumble into you if you are also out looking for it.

I want to seek out the projects, the essays, the writing assignments that intimidate me me so I can better realize my own potential. I want to seek out the rough, unanswerable questions that can’t be summed up in Christian cliches and the ideas that can’t be simplified into bullet pointed sermon notes. I’m seeking for peace and a better sense of self after feeling like a part of me was buried in frozen ground with my 19-year-old cousin’s casket.

I suppose I’m searching for what we all are, to some degree. Seeking for what truly matters in the world and what I’m supposed to make matter in return. Looking for what makes me come alive and what that is supposed to do for the people around me. Hunting for the most vital, which is also the most terrifying. So I guess my greatest hope for myself, for all of us, is that may learn to seek without being afraid of what we might find.

 

“I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart.”                                                                   Vincent Van Goh

 

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