Brett Luft

Austin, Texas, Graffiti Wall

REFLECTION

I’ve been feeling discouraged lately. This is not a new feeling, obviously, but it’s not one that I’m comfortable with. No matter how many times I feel discouraged, I never get used to it.

I’ll take that as a win.

Life moves quickly. I feel this is part of the reason I’ve been feeling discouraged. Life was moving quickly for me, but lately it’s started to slow down. My Next Big Thing is still a few months away, and I’m growing impatient.

When I feel discouraged, I feel the urge to occupy my brain with something. Anything. If I fail to occupy my thoughts with something productive, bitterness settles in and my brain decides to occupy itself with negative thoughts.

I’m not a fan of this.

This weekend I was really productive. It’s not enough to make me feel less discouraged, but it has given me the opportunity to reflect. One thing that I found really nice within this recent bout of reflection is watching how I’ve grown over the past year.

One productive thing I did was sort through a year’s worth of emails. I was able to reflect on every milestone I’ve had in the past year, including the ones that I initially took for granted.

Getting my first post-university job offer, taking spontaneous trips to Seattle and San Antonio, and receiving notes from people that care. Some of these things are simple. Some are wildly exciting. But all of these little events added something meaningful to my life.

Reflection is extremely important to improving my mental wellbeing. I discovered this two years ago when I was living in Japan. I thought about how if I wouldn’t have delayed my degree, I would have probably been able to live in Hirosaki permanently, rather than two short semesters.

I started to really think about that. I thought about how I ended up in Hirosaki in the first place. I realized my initial thoughts were wrong.

I was wrong because I wouldn’t have experienced Japan if it wasn’t for my journalism degree. I went to Mount Royal University for journalism. I chose journalism because delaying my post-secondary experience made me interested in telling stories.

Without the delay, I would have never experienced how much I needed that international experience in my life. I wouldn’t have known what I was missing if I didn’t delay my entrance to university. I can’t regret delaying my schooling if the delay created so many unique opportunities.

But why am I telling you this now? It’s been two years since I truly realized the power of reflection. I’m telling you this for two reasons: I think people need to know how powerful reflection can be, and I need that power in my life right now.

As I said initially, My Next Big Thing is still far away. I need positive thinking spaces to understand why patience is so important.

That’s why I’m writing this today. Over the next few months I’ll use this blog as an opportunity to positively reflect on the things going on in my life.

There might be times when I tackle tough subjects, or identify things that I feel I could do better. If you can’t join me on those days of my journey, that’s okay. I need to have these discussions with myself so I can be a better me.

Because when My Next Big Thing finally arrives, I’m going to need to have the strength to take it all in.

Want to share your thoughts? Follow me on Twitter or connect with me on Instagram to chat about this post.