en[joy] each moment and each year

Exactly one year ago, I wrote a blog post about joy. It was my first post that wasn’t about my study abroad trip, and it was at just the beginning of my deep adoration for the word “joy.”

The 365 days that have passed between October 28, 2014 and now have been anything but ordinary. My road has taken dozens of unknown turns, through many uncharted territories and has been full of lots of potholes. As a person who likes to be in control, this last year has done anything and everything BUT follow a laid out plan. But while these last twelve months have not been the way I expected, they have taught me more than I could ever imagine, especially when it comes to joy.

We all have our good days and our bad days. I oftentimes struggle with feeling “happy,” but not a day goes by where I don’t feel joy. Joy is found in everything, every tiny passing moment. Joy is the ideal that each one of us has a purpose, and that each move we make, each decision we take a part in, can bring us, as well as others, joy. When I am asked to think about some of my favorite moments, I don’t oftentimes think of the big things. I don’t think about climbing a tower in Spain, my first meeting as SEAL Chair, or the start of my freshman year at Longwood. I think of getting lost in a foreign city and of climbing a doorway with my best friends. I think of impromptu uptown cafe trips and of late nights full of endless laughter.

Yes, this last year has taken some turns that I wish never to relive. But those turns have brought me so much love, so much laughter, so many important friendships, and so much joy. I have learned that passion is contagious, and that joy is rooted in that passion. That every moment, whether expected or unexpected, whether wished for or against, can bring you joy in so many new and different ways, if we are only open to seeing it. That at the end of the day, there is always something to be joyous about. That there is no better way to live a day, to live a year, than by finding that joy. Because by living each moment with joy, your life will find joy in full.

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