Looking Back to Look Forward
My preface to you: Struggling with writer's block is very real. Between 50+ hour work weeks, marathon training (and a subsequent fracture + hospital stay*), a very on-and-off relationship, and recent travel across the state of California, the past month and a half has not been conducive to working through this writer's block.
*Silver lining to the aforementioned fracture: I have hours to dedicate to pushing through writer's block and can return to pursuing something I'm so passionate about...with a month and half's worth of pent-up inspiration.
2015 was a year of change. (Note: I hate change.) 2015 turned my life upside down over and over and over again. After winning a grant and traveling for independent research, I completely altered what I wanted my ultimate career goal (and industry, for that matter) to be. College graduation came and went - I moved home with no job, no money, and no friends within the western half of the US. When I moved to San Diego following a job offer, I had no place to live for weeks, I didn't know a single person, I felt clueless in my job for the first ~3 months, and I cried every night for at least two months straight. Last but not least, I fractured my hip, taking away my ability to run - the one thing that makes me...well, me. Like I said, it was the year of big change. It was a hard year...but aren't those ultimately the most rewarding?
As I look back and reflect on the past 12 months, I realize that despite all of this change and my aversion to it, I learned and gained so much experience that I can use moving forward in 2016.
2015 taught me that my girlfriends are my soulmates. This is so self-explanatory. But, throughout this weird year, my friends stayed with me. My best memories of the past year always include my friends, whether it be Thursday nights watching Shonda shows, inventing Drunk Uno with my roommate, cuddling in twin beds while we debated outfit options or anxiety over exams, exploring Nashville's sights & sounds, gossiping over daily lunch, and somehow always bursting into laughter during study nights. My friends just get me, for lack of better words. They are my true soulmates, and I feel so blessed. Who needs a man when you got friends like these fools?
2015 taught me to get outside. Similarly, self explanatory. I've always been an outdoors person, but each year its grown. The more stressed I became about change, the more I retreated to the outdoors to cope. This year, I was able to see the beauty of Tennessee wilderness, Florida sunsets, and every beautiful beach San Diego has to offer.
2015 taught me to keep an open mind. This spring, I led a week-long immersive community service trip to an animal sanctuary in Indiana. I had always remained fairly judgmental of vegans and animal rights activists, but I decided to really dig into the subjects before serving on the farm. It's now one of my biggest passions and causes I advocate for - my lack of knowledge made me judgmental, but deciding to keep an open mind led me to something I feel so strongly about. The trip also allowed me to learn life stories of people at school I would have never met - I learned so much from listening and being open-minded. It's amazing what others' experiences can help you with.
2015 taught me to love myself. As I mentioned, I didn't know a single person when I moved to San Diego. I've definitely formed friendships now, but in the interim time, I spent a lot of time alone. I explored San Diego alone, I ate alone, I watched movies alone, and the list goes on. It gave me a lot of time to reflect and work on personal development and define bigger goals for myself. I became my own best friend and that's pretty cool to me.
2015 taught me to keep on pushing. This year was not easy by any means. However, every trying experience taught me that hard work and perseverance pays off. Every single long night studying for an exam, hour spent reading a textbook, and essay written allowed me to graduate college. Spending hours applying for hundreds of jobs finally resulted in a position I love. Working endlessly on mermaid pose this year resulted in me finding clarity in the pose and strength in my entire practice. Running through runner's knee(s) and waking up at 4 AM my last semester was painful and tiring, but the finish line at that final half-marathon was worth it. Some things take longer, but the struggle results in something beautiful.
Thanks for all the memories, 2015.
Here's to a new year, new experiences, new friends, new discoveries, new adventures. I'm excited.