What. A. Year. To say that 2018 was surprising would be an understatement. It was truly a year of construction, building myself up to find healing in a way that fit. I’ve grown and I’m learning how I do so best, and really focusing in on how to cultivate growth in myself every day in some facet of life. And now, looking toward 2019, it’s going to be a year of expansion. I now feel as though I’m grounded enough through faith to really begin. In the moment, adversity can feel so suffocating and nearly impossible to overcome. But as I look back now at the strength God has given me to get through it, I see that He was using it for a greater purpose in my life. As I’ve been reminding myself and others quite a bit lately, God has the whole picture that we just don’t have. Trust: it’s a difficult but beautiful thing, and ultimately it’s a choice. I am learning to honor it as such and pour it into those who are deserving.
The final few months of 2018 were a whirlwind, but it turned out so beautifully. I’m steadily moving forward, even with a new set of obstacles that have been dealt my way as they always are to some degree. I am pursuing the next step in my career, and while I’ve never been the most patient person, I’m actively trying to remind myself that waiting for the right opportunity is better than settling for the wrong one. I was so excited about the whole process when I started applying for jobs a few months ago. Now, the right opportunity still hasn’t come my way, but I’m holding out faith. There have been a lot of ups and downs in this process, doubting myself and my abilities along the way. How wrong I was to do that; I am capable and I am determined. I know I have a whole lot to offer to any organization, now it’s just about finding the company who will offer me that chance to be an asset to their team like I know I can be. But I want that right opportunity, and it’s worth waiting for because I want God’s best for my life. It all goes back to choosing trust and continuing on.
Until I find that right fit, I am content currently working for my dad and contributing where I can to the auto shop. I’ve come to the conclusion that those opportunities that I thought were perfect fits were simply not for me: “What is for you will not pass you.” I saw that quote up in Boston during a time a few years ago when I was questioning a lot of things, and I found grounding in it. It holds true today. Each day is a learning experience and a step closer to where I want to be. Again, trust.
Speaking of where I want to be, writing has seen somewhat of a breakthrough as of late. Inspiration has been sparking like crazy in my head, and I’m on the verge of something stunning. This is my calling, and I intend to make the absolute most of it in 2019. Last year was slow for my writing which was a weird part of the healing process, but now I’m back in this creative space more than ready to go. I’m just working on getting into a consistent writing groove, falling in love with my craft again, knowing and trusting that when I do those things, something wonderful is on the other side.
Toward the end of last year, I created an account dedicated to my writing on Instagram. If you’d like to follow that page, it’s: @word.oasis. I’m using it like a sounding board for some of my work and trying to get into the habit of consistently putting out quality content in supplement to this blog. It’s another creative outlet for my writing that I haven’t explored before. I’ve really enjoyed playing with page layouts, graphics, and different functions of the app to put my work out there. There is so much to come here, and so much to learn.
And on that thread, grad school is in full swing. I’m going to school part-time at the moment, I’m one semester down, and it went fairly well. Sometimes it’s difficult to not be incredibly hard on myself when things don’t turn out perfectly (on all fronts, not just school). However, I’m coming to the realization that when I begin something new, I need to offer myself some grace while I get adjusted. Semester one was good but it wasn’t great, and I know I can do better this coming semester. I’m choosing to look at that as an opportunity to use what I’ve learned to improve. There’s a chance to go up here, and instead of beating myself up about not getting the grades I was hoping for or achieving the “perfect” scenario, I’m making an intentional choice to move forward with excellence. Into this next semester, I’m thinking of it as stepping stones or building blocks. One grade or one class do not make or break me. These are all steps to get where I want to go: a Master’s degree that I can then apply to my career. Progress over perfection, because if you hold yourself to the standard of being perfect, you’ll always end up disappointed. I’ve certainly learned that, and it’s been especially reinforced over the course of the last year. We aren’t designed for perfection, but we can make a whole lot of progress when we set our mind to something. Mindsets are powerful things, and we shouldn’t underestimate them. Here’s to semester two of graduate school. Great things to come. Progress to come.
Within this post, I’ve noticed a common theme as I’ve been writing. It’s no coincidence that I keep going back to choosing. We make a million little choices every day, and our attitude toward the things that happen to us or around us isn’t exempt from that ability. We need to choose to trust: the process, God, our loved ones. We need to choose to love: our family, our friends, our partners. We need to choose to be positive: about our situations and in our reactions. We need to choose to be kind: to others and to ourselves. Ultimately, our outlook is yet another choice. The lens you look through is completely up to you. That is my main focus of this year, to choose wisely. I chose “intention” to be my 2019 word of the year, and I aim to be very intentional about my choices and my attitudes. I can’t even recount all of the times I’ve held myself back because I didn’t view something as an opportunity, or because I doubted myself. Self confidence is a choice, as are our reactions.
As the end of 2018 flows right into the beginning of 2019, I’m recognizing how much is in store. I’m in a new relationship that is strong, and healthy, and truly loving (shoutout to Chris for being the absolute best!). I’m actively pursuing the most exciting step I’ve taken in my career to date. My writing is picking up again in its own timing and at the right time. Grad school is continuing on with progress at the forefront of my mind. And along the way, I’ve got such a great circle of family and friends around me. There is no other word to how I feel than blessed. I wish you all a fantastic year to come, and remember to choose wisely, friends.
Much Love, Quinn
I am fully confident 2019 will be a season of growth for Word Oasis. Check back to the site every Tuesday and Saturday to see the latest content. I earnestly hope you enjoy this journey right along with me 🙂