My Truth for 2021

Every New Year I read the January 1 entries of all my past diaries. It’s a tradition with myself that I look forward to. This year I dreaded it. I was afraid that in reading the unfilled plans, high expectations, and even naivety about the state of our country of my Jan 2020 entry I would relive all the crushing disappointment—the cancelled internship in France, the research project that failed for the second time, and the semester cut short.

I took a breath, sat cross-legged on the floor, opened the journal, and came across this sentence: “What I want to do this year is find rest, succeed in my research, love my family better, start writing again.”

…Oh, so you do know what you’re doing, God…

Had things gone my way in 2020 I would have pursued two summer internships, presented at a conference, and travelled out of the continental US at least twice—not restful. Instead, I spent more months at home than I have since college began, leaving only for a relaxed, no-reception three weeks of avian fieldwork with two women who are not only colleagues, but friends. Rest.

As for my own research, what I interpreted as utter failure was only a setback. Now, I have rows and rows of data ready to be analyzed. Enough to publish my undergraduate thesis by the end of this semester. Research.

To close off 2020, I not only revived this blog, but applied to a science writing fellowship for the summer. Plus a little fanfiction for my small (read: concerning) obsession with a Disney Junior show. Writing.

As for loving my family better? This very moment, I’m sitting in my sister’s room in easy companionship, as I have done for the past month and the majority of quarantine.

All this to say, in the midst of a year that I considered a complete disaster and disruption of my life, God was still working. It’s a truth that is as irritating as it is comforting…I don’t know best after all.

The start of this year isn’t going to magically fix everything. The world, our country, maybe even parts of our life seem to be falling apart. It’s inescapable. Nothing any of us individually do can change it. And yet, meaningless as it might sound, God is still working. And it is this truth that I plan to cling to in this new year and beyond.

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