Celebrating the Journey
Time flies at a rapid pace. Before you realise it, you’ve blinked and we’re in April. A quarter of 2019 has gone. What? When did that happen?
Despite looming deadlines serving as one way that I’ve been reminded of the passage of time, occasionally photos pop up as memories, and momentarily take me back to those moments.
I’m a person who loves to take photos – whether that be a quick snap on my phone, saving those memories to put into a ‘One Second Everyday’ video, or a scrapbook later down the line, or if it’s taking a walk with my camera and putting slightly more thought into the composition of it all. I love how much a photo can capture.
Even if it’s not ‘visible’ – a photo for me holds far more than just what it shows.
I can generally place it, give you the location (and knowing me, probably also the date/day of the week….yes, I know, strange brain). I’ll probably be able to tell you who I was with, what we were doing – and in many cases, photos also bring up emotions.
Sometimes I’m staggered and amazed at the capabilities of our brains. How intricately complex they’ve been created to be.
It’s been a year?
I came across this photo the other day – and am somewhat staggered that it’s been a year since it was taken. And what a year it’s been. To think that, as I wandered around the town I now call home, for a brief point my life intersected with those who I can now call friends. To know that, a year ago, I still hadn’t decided where I was coming to uni – but now, I can’t imagine being anywhere else?
A lot can change, and does change – often in a really short space of time. The last few years sort of feel like a whirlwind of change – and I’m not sure I’ve landed on my feet yet, at least not properly. As each week passes – being at uni begins to feel more normal, but I also know that the fast-paced change of life isn’t going to stop any time soon, and being okay with that is part of embracing the season I’m living in.
I find it weird thinking back to where I was a year ago, or even two years ago. It’s a bit of a strange process – but in its own way, helpful too? Often, growth happens without us even realising – and it can take someone outside of the situation to be able to shed light on the change you’ve gone through – that has become reality…
It’s almost even weirder, looking back on this post – and seeing how I was feeling this time last year as I accepted my offer for St Andrews.
This was certainly the case for me, just a few weeks ago. I popped back into school over my break from university, and visited some of my teachers. I loved being able to catch up, and share what life currently looks like with people who were so instrumental in getting me to where I am now.
But the reason for sharing this – the thing that stuck with me, was one aspect of every conversation I had. And that was, the number of comments like “You’re looking good”, or “healthier” – for them, in the two years that I’ve been away, I’ve discovered more of what ‘me’ is. Sometimes, realising how much I put myself through during my A level years for the sake of good grades and keeping up a certain image, genuinely causes a sense of grief for what those years could have been.
I can look back on it now and say that my last few years of school were not lived healthily, nor were they fulfilling. I’m not sure I knew it at the time, or if I did, I wasn’t willing to admit it… But there were people who did know – and for them to now be able to see the difference, is special.
It caused me to step back – and be willing to say “look how far you’ve come”.
To celebrate the small victories along the way – and be proud of what coming to uni has meant.
To be happy with my journey – and take just a little time to take stock of where I am.
What comes next?
Whatever that means for now, or the future – I think it’s important for me to recognise the change. Even if I don’t understand exactly what’s changed, or how, I know that God does – and I’m seeking to become more of the person he created me to be.
For now; this means learning to be content in where I am in this moment. Of embracing what God can teach me while I’m at uni – and continuing to learn how to look after myself, and discover what “Being Hannah” actually means.
I know that there’s a season for everything – and as I look back on last year; in trying to choose where I’d spend the next four years of my life – without a doubt, I’m so pleased I chose to be at St Andrews. I’m where God wants me to be; for academics, for friendships, for Church, and just for me.
His plan is greater, wider, and beyond anything I can ever choose for myself. I may not understand the ‘ins and outs’, or the ‘whys and hows’ – but what I do know, is if I continue to seek His heart and plans, I’m going to keep heading in the right direction.
Here’s to the next three years of St Andrews life – and whatever God has in store.
I’m excited. Are you?