As we step into both a new year and decade, I have been overwhelmed by posts and notifications from many of my friends. Ten-year transformations, new year’s resolutions and recaps of the previous year have flooded my feed and I have been forced to look back at how I have changed myself.
This past year was full of firsts and new experiences for me. I finished my first year of college and I am proud of the grades I received and projects that I created (Yay!). My family took our first family vacation in years, allowing me to experience life in Europe for a few weeks. I also saw the beginning and end of the year with someone who became very important to me and was lucky enough to experience so many wonderful things together throughout the year. Finally, I was reminded just how amazing and supportive my friends are, both at school and at home.
I believe that true growth is not something that can be forced or recognized while it is happening, and it never stops. I have not been great at pushing myself to focus on self-care or personal growth in the past but being able to take a moment now and look back at the person that I was and have become is surreal. I am in no way the same person that kicked off 2019, and I am far from the little girl I once was with big dreams that began the decade in 2010. Both of those past selves have seen so many ups and downs, experienced disappointment, excitement and heartbreak. But each experience has shaped me into the person I am today.
Reflecting on this year specifically, I have learned many valuable characteristics and lessons for which I am extremely grateful. I have become more patient, vocal and, most importantly, proud. Patience is something that is difficult to practice. Understanding others’ needs and limitations in certain situations is incredibly difficult but having the ability to step back from a situation or issue can do wonders for a relationship of any sort. Becoming vocal in my beliefs, both in myself and in issues throughout the world, has taught me that standing up for yourself is incredibly important for self-discovery. Before now, I struggled greatly with taking pride in my work that I put so much of myself into, and this year I have learned that it is okay to do so. I never realized how much I held myself back or talked down on myself in regards to my work or attitude until it was pointed out to me. Since realizing this, I have noticed how much of a toll that takes on my mental health, so I have worked to change my relationship with my work for the better.
This year has brought me so many amazing relationships that I would be nowhere without. The people around me have pushed for my growth and have supported me through so much. My circles have grown immensely, I have made incredible new personal as well as career related connections. I am left astounded at how funny life can be sometimes in bringing individuals into your life. It’s crazy how some people can become so important so quickly, and the fact that they are in your life for a reason, no matter how long or short, for growth.
As I end the year on a somber yet contemplative note, I am challenged to reflect on all that has happened, my experiences, and to look forward to a new stage of personal growth. I am learning to be okay with myself and to jump into all of the opportunities that are thrown at me. We as humans are designed to continue to better themselves, failing is part of the process. Getting over the fear of falling is very difficult, but I am slowly getting there.
I am not typically one for resolutions, but this year I am ready to move forward, to grow myself and my relationships and to appreciate everything that I have. 2020 will bring so much to all of us and I can confidently say, I’m ready for it.