In a store in West Seattle yesterday, I found a coffee table book by a guy who had taken a photo of an ordinary event every day for a year. I've been really stressed about the future lately...well, to be completely honest, I've always been really stressed about the future. The book made me remember a day this summer, when I was in Uganda. I was sitting on the lawn in the setting sun, listening to music on my iPod, feeling guilty because I had lived in England for a year and hadn't seen any of it, and now my year of study was coming to a close. I started looking through photos on my iPod, and before long, was realizing just how much I had accomplished in the past few years. I lived in France! Then I moved to London! I visited Dublin and Edinburgh and Amsterdam and Hamburg and Switzerland and Lyon! I hung out with people I adore, who make me laugh and smile! I got a Master's degree!
Looking through this book in West Seattle, I thought of the coming year. If I were to document each day of the next year with a photograph, where would I be in those photographs? What would I be doing and with whom? And for once, not knowing the answers to those questions filled me with hope instead of dread. Why? Because of this past year, and the years before. If I had documented every single day for the past year or the past five years, I would have a physical reminder of all the wonderful places God has taken me, and all the wonderful people I've met. The continents I've visited and cities I've seen. The next year may be horrible and lonely and dismal. I may not find a job. I may have to move home and live in my parents' basement. But probably not, and even if it is, that will be an adventure itself.
So I'm going to do an experiment. Starting January 1st, if I can remember and not get too lazy, I'm going to document the next year with a photo per day. I'm going to see where the next year takes me, whether it takes me to cosmopolitan cities, or to far-off corners of the world, or to the loving arms of my family. And a year from now, I'll know if all my worst fears have come to fruition, or if, once again, my worries were unnecessary.