Dear Pope Francis,
A few weeks ago Facebook launched its 2015 Timeline feature, which pulls together ten pictures from the year so people can share the highlight from the year. I played around with mine, but most of the pictures that were suggested by Facebook weren’t actually that important when considering the year overall.
So, in honour of the adventure that 2015 was, here are the top five most memorable moments of the year, in chronological order:
- Turned 25 (April 2015) – My 25th birthday was one of the best by far, full of friends, laughter, giving back, and surprises. But this also signaled the first time that I seriously thought of myself as a ‘real grown up’. I don’t know what I was before, perhaps a ‘pretend grown up’ because I was still in school. Whatever it was, a switch flipped in my head this year, and I feel like I’m a proper grown up, going to work, paying bills, being responsible, and stuff like that. Sometimes, it’s a little stressful, but I have to say, for the most part, I like it.
- Successfully defended my Master’s Thesis (May 2015) – This covers several of days that all run together in my memory: the actual day of the defense, the celebration that evening and over the weekend, and celebrating with my classmates and professors the following week. It’s all a blur. I’ve kept the emails that I wrote in the immediate aftermath so I won’t forget the feelings and my initial reactions. It’s probably one of my biggest accomplishments to date, and despite all of the stress and challenges it came with, I wouldn’t give up the experience. The whole process, three years of classes, a year of intense, focused studying and the actual defense, taught me that by relying on God, I can persevere, even when things are hard and everything around me makes me think I should just give up.
- Accepted my first job (August 2015) – Figuring out what I was supposed to do after school was more stressful than I thought it would be. I had to do some soul searching and discerning to figure out what I needed at this time in my life, and where I was being called. But I can see God’s fingerprints all over the job that I accepted. I’m happy to say that I’ve landed right where I need to be, especially since it involved a move.
- Moved to western Canada (September 2015) – Three weeks after accepting the position, I said good bye to my Toronto friends and life, packed my bags and moved west. I settled in a smaller city, almost in the middle of the country. Geographically it is very different from what I’m used to, but that’s part of the adventure. I’m calling this ‘the second leg of my multi-year, cross-Canada tour’.
- Convocation (November 2015) – I almost didn’t go back to southern Ontario for convocation, but in hindsight I’m very glad that I did. I was only there for a weekend, but it affirmed my decision to move, even though moving posed its own challenges. I realized that as much as I missed my friends in Toronto, it wasn’t the right place for me to be right now. It was still awesome to see my Toronto friends; social media, Skype and phone calls are great, but nothing beats catching up in person. I think I finally learned where the limits of my extroversion are: after three straight days of catching up with people, I was ready for some quiet time.
There it is; my highlight reel from 2015. It was everything I expected it to be: a fast-paced adventure, complete with changes that I wouldn’t have predicted.
For as much fun as 2015 was, I am glad it’s 2016. I’m ready for a new adventure, racing after new goals in a new stage of life.
Wishing you health, peace and joy in 2016,
PS: Readers, what was the highlight of 2015 for you?