I have this favorite quote from Steve Jobs. Now, before you accuse me of fangirling, just know that I try not to be one of those Apple users (you know, the ones that just won’t stop talking about the newest i-whatever) but this particular quote from his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford seems fitting for a day like today.
You can’t connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. – Steve Jobs, 2005.
I think it’s because today is New Year’s Eve (or Old Year’s if you’re a part of my family) that it is an opportunity to look back over the past 12 months to see how the dots have connected for each of us.
My dots have been testing at times.
Last January I found myself as a recent college graduate among all my other classmates still seeking our dream careers. I was scared to attend my university’s homecoming activities in the fall because more than 30 job applications and numerous unsuccessful interviews I was still looking for job 10 months later.
In a broader sense, we as Catholics have seen an unprecedented attack on our faith and religious identity. Personally, I learned with my post reviewing Niki Minaj’s Grammy display (I won’t give her the credit of calling it a performance) that sometimes the Catholic perspective certainly isn’t the most popular or easy to represent.
Today, as a nation, we are engaged in a debate in our government, communities and among our friends about the meaning of creating and perpetuating a Culture of Life and repealing an HHS mandate forcing us to violate our consciousnesses.
But how have the dots been connected?
Tomorrow marks a year that I joined ACNM as a monthly contributor. Not only did it give me something to do during the time of my job search, it allowed me to use the skills I developed at school and enthusiasm for social media to directly support the new evangelization of the Catholic faith in the digital continent.
I recently celebrated my three-month anniversary at my new job! I was hired in October and not only was the job in Austin (where I always wanted to live and work) but it was in my field (public relations) and in the pro-life movement. It couldn’t be more perfect, using my skills to further another great cause.
I think it’s safe to say that there will always be those that criticize us for our faith. It’s easy to attack, write nasty anonymous comments and single us out for the shortcomings in our writing and in our own lives. We do what we can. By representing our faith through social media, online and in our communities, we have the opportunity to show people that being Catholic isn’t a burden. We can have fun, be sports fans, be executives, business owners and still have a deep devotion to something that matters.
Sometimes when I tell people about ACNM and what I do, they automatically assume you have to be a theologian or one of those ‘super-Catholics’ to do what I do. I tell them that I am most certainly neither of those. I don’t have a degree in theology and I struggle with my own faith. But I am excited and eager to share. I am a normal person, someone who happens to be Catholic, and can’t imagine my life any other way.
This past year, i’ve seen the dots (not matter how frustrating and hopeless they may seem) mean something in the end. I’ve found a job, become part of the team here at ACNM and gotten a glimpse of how everything eventually fits together how it’s supposed to in my life at this particular moment.
The dots have clearly become connected. Sometimes we just have to look back to see just how connected they truly are.
Happy New Year’s and I hope that this year brings you success, happiness and God’s blessing in every aspect of your life.