Joy: 2014 Edition

Today, I sat and gave myself time to reflect on the 365 days that made up 2013 and it’s nearly impossible to keep every emotion, doubt, concern, etc. repressed. While I consider 2013 to be a fantastic year, a lot happened that brought up unnecessary negativity. It wasn’t that negative things were happening to me, it was simply the way I chose to see the events in my life that altered my perspective completely.

The final days of 2013 were spent in San Diego with my family and dancing the night away with friends. It wasn’t until this morning when my three best friends and I were reunited in our entirety that I had a revelation of sorts; a revelation that allowed me to experience an incredible sort of happiness and brand new attitude for the coming days in 2014. In this whirlwind of a life we’re blessed to live, it is the people you surround yourself with who matter the most.

My family and I took a trip down to San Diego to watch Arizona State play Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl. As a senior, this would be my last ASU football game as a student. We ventured down expecting victory and a great time, and returned with a great time sans victory. Although ASU wasn’t victorious whatsoever, I was able to spend quality time with my family – something I haven’t been able to do in months. It was a blessing in every way possible. 1555515_573528002728087_28638151_n

It was on opposite sides of a breakfast table that my best friends and I were finally together again. After months of separation and playing catch-up around our busy schedules, it was nice to get everyone in the same state. We spent time talking about our lives, our fears brought about by the coming semester, and where we hope to be after we graduate, all of which made me feel uneasy. I went to our breakfast this morning knowing that the four of us would get to spend a very limited amount of time together before we’d return to school. My thoughts were even plagued by the possibility of where we’d be in a few months and how much time we’d get to spend together in the future.

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Negativity hung around in the back of my mind until the topic of joy was addressed. Oftentimes, our circumstances prevent us from seeing the true joy and positivity in our lives. From time to time, we’re put in situations that seem difficult, overwhelming, and discouraging. They can range from something as simple as wanting to see your football team win, to not knowing when you’re going to spend a solid amount of time with your best friends in the coming months. What I’ve grown to realize, even in the span of a few hours, is that our situations do not determine our joy as much as we create the joy we experience. We are responsible for finding joy in the things we do and by no means should our circumstances prevent us from living that way. It those moments at Qualcomm Stadium and at a table with delicious food, it didn’t matter what I was doing as much as who I was doing it with. I’ve been beyond blessed to have a group of positive influences in my life and they come in the form of family members and best friends.

If it weren’t for advice from the greatest friends a gal could ask for, I wouldn’t be writing this post with the excitement and joy I have at this moment, and for that I am truly thankful.

Here’s to a new year full of joyful moments with wonderful people!

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