2016: A Reflection

2016, I have decided, will be a year of confidence, of poise, of adventure. It will be putting myself out there in more ways while also continuing to nurture the introvert inside of me. It will be sticking up for myself and chasing after my dreams. It will be blossoming even further into the strong, independent woman I know is inside of me. It will be having faith in my decisions, not doubting what my heart tells me.

 January 3, 2016

— — — —

 2016 was a year. On a global scale, many would agree that it sucked.

On a personal level, it sometimes sucked, but it was mostly quite full. If 2015 was the best year of my life thus far (as I’m pretty sure I dubbed it at its close), 2016 has been the most enriching. In many respects, it was a very painful year—particularly in its early months. 2016 was completely losing all sense of self while simultaneously trying my best to live in a foreign country and culture. It was being alone in Thailand on my birthday, with head lice and pneumonia in tow—at the same time. It was striking out independently in search of my place in this world and feeling a lot of uncertainty, anxiety, and doubt along the way.

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It was also leaving these cuties and the joy of teaching them (on the rare occasions when they wanted to be taught) behind, unsuccessfully holding back tears as I left their classrooms for the last time, because the love, kindness, and intellect of children is grossly undervalued and because they taught me so much.

That said, 2016 did have its bright spots: traveling in Europe with an old high school friend; showing my parents around the beautiful country I called home for six months; having no clue what the heck to do with my life post-Thailand, but trusting my gut in making the move to Washington, DC anyways—because it’s what felt right. It was enduring pain to find strength and taking pride in that strength.

When I look back at the goals I set out to accomplish in my journal entry, from the most infant days of this year, excerpted above, I would say that I did a pretty damn good job of fulfilling those goals. This year certainly didn’t pan out the way I thought it would—when I wrote this entry, I was pretty certain I’d still be abroad right now, either in Thailand or elsewhere in Asia. That just goes to show how quickly plans can change if you allow them to—it took me a little over a month from the time I wrote this entry to come to the realization that what I really needed for myself was to move back to the United States. That said, I look at the multiple goals I set forth for myself in the above excerpt—all of which have to do with finding strength, and confidence from within—and I am filled with so much pride because I did do all of that…because I took initiative and believed I could. These efforts are far from over—I don’t think it is possible to complete one’s effort to become a braver, stronger, more confident individual in the course of one year—but, at the close of this year, I would say I am off to an incredibly good start.

Yes, 2016 was certainly an enriching year for me. It wasn’t always easy, it wasn’t always fun—but I’ve learned so much, and for that I am so grateful. For that, I am incredibly happy.

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4 Replies to “2016: A Reflection”

  1. I think that my favorite part about New Years is looking back to who and where you were at the beginning and evaluate the same at the end. What a difference a year makes! I love reading these kind of posts. As always, it’s been a joy to watch your life progress through your blog in 2016 and I wish you the best for the year to come! 🙂

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    1. It really is amazing, what we can accomplish in a year. This year gas been particularly fruitful for me and I’ve been doing A LOT of reflection lately. Thanks so much, Amelia. I’ve enjoyed watching your life progress, too, through your blog.

      Liked by 1 person

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