Last fall, in the dreariness of November when I felt like I needed a reminder of joy and optimism, I wrote on my whiteboard:
But it’s not quite right to say I want to fall in love with the world. I am already in love with this world—its people, its natural beauty, its daily moments of tiny joy that are there if you look for them. I remember feeling this so strongly when I spent a semester studying abroad in the Netherlands. I would wake up to sunshine as spring blossomed over my charming adopted Dutch city. Daffodils I’d illegally harvested from the nearby boulevard perched on my windowsill, happy music played from my Macbook, and I smiled to myself as I thought about all the wonderful things that could happen to me that day.
In 2015, my goal is to embody that kind of love for the world, in my actions and my attitude.
I want to splash in puddles and climb mountains and stargaze from beaches, in my favourite places and in places I’ve never been before.
I want to fall into conversations that stretch into the small hours of the morning, forgetting about proper bedtimes and what I have to do the next day because in the moment, what we’re saying is brilliant and we might be coming up with ideas that will change the world.
I want to lose myself in books that make me laugh and cry and make the hair on my arms stand on end when I read something so profound that I want to etch it into my brain.
I want to wrestle with ideas that keep me up at night—knotty social problems, yes, but also creative ideas about things I can make, invent, or start.
I want to look at all the strangers around me and remember that they, too, are looking for love and acceptance and a kind word as they star in the dramas of their their own lives.
I want to love this world and people in it enough to keep trying, in some small ways, to make it a better place.
This world does hold a lot of pain and heartache. I’m sure, in the year ahead, there will be many times when I feel angry or overwhelmed by injustice and suffering that I see, or when I feel confusion and doubt about my future. But I am certain that this world also holds so much beauty and opportunity. And when I think about all the fascinating people I haven’t met yet, all the stunning vistas I haven’t seen yet, all the ideas I haven’t heard yet, I can’t help but smile.