Or maybe it’s all of the above.
The thing about new years is that we tend to go into them with these big expectations. Especially at my age when it seems that everyone is doing something even while you look back and feel like you’ve done nothing at all.
It almost feels like you wasted the entire year doing this or that but without ever getting to the good part.
But listen to this: there is no way you spent the last 361 days doing nothing productive; you’ve laughed, cried, made friends, maybe lost others… And you’ve survived. We both have.
Because amidst surviving, I learned a few things along the way.
Sometimes, it’s about surviving
And that’s it. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves whether it’s about our weight, people, jobs, or even grades. Then life gets in the way. There are a lot of things we have no control over but the way I see it, we just need to survive and get through it. Sometimes, that’s the best you can do. The rest will follow.
It’s not about you, it’s about me
Now this might sound selfish, but hear me out: just because your best friend is getting married or your sibling did that huge thing already… It doesn’t matter. They are living a different life than you. Do you compare circles to squares and wonder why one can’t be more like the other? No. So don’t do that to yourself, just worry about what you’re doing, what you need to be doing, and how you feel about it. Go from there.
People are everything
It’s taken me some time to get to this one, but truly, your people make a world of difference in your life. It can be hard to accept change or drifting friends just as it’s hard to break into new groups and start over. But do it for yourself and stick to the people who feel just a little bit like home, the ones who see you for who you are. The rest don’t matter. And if you can’t see them, look harder. They’re there.
It doesn’t all have to be figured out
One way I know I hold myself back a lot is thinking that I can’t start down a new path without finishing out the last journey, even if it’s time to put it on hold for a while and go a different direction. Sometimes, things just aren’t working. Take it from a new angle, whether you have a plan or wing it. You have to trust yourself and take it one step at a time.
This life is not a means to an end
We spend a lot of time working towards the next step and the next one after that, forgetting to enjoy where we’re at. So far, I went through high school planning for college and in college, I’m planning the rest of my life when I’ll be honest in saying that I haven’t enjoyed college all that much. I’ve treated it as a means to an end—whatever that end is. But last year and this year, thanks to Bryce and Maddie and a few too many others, they’ve reminded me that the end might not be what we expect, in time or manner. We have to pay attention to the present too. Maybe I need to change that and remember this journey. We need to enjoy the process of getting there, not just what it looks like once we do.
As of now, these are the biggest things I’ve learned this year; a smaller list than other years with bigger concepts. It seems to me that this is what growth looks like right now: Little things that mean a whole lot more than they used to.
It’s hard to believe that this is the third calendar year I’m ending with a Friday blog post— three years now, can you believe it? From 18 to 20 going on 21, it’s been quite the past few years with me and this one has been no different. For all of us, I hope the future holds a little bit of all of the above, from the good moments to the downright awkward.
They’re all important after all. And I’m glad you’ve been here for all of mine, thanks for sticking with me through 2018. Trust me, there’s a lot in store for 2019. Just you wait.
Here’s to ending the year on a good note, thanks for being here.