Good Riddance, 2017

Am I the only one who is extremely happy to be in the new year?

I know the first day of the new year is really like any other day, but I am one of those who believes it to symbolize a new beginning. If you have been keeping up with my blog at all, especially my posts that weren’t about traveling, you could tell I struggled mentally last year. I felt lost, disappointed, and even like a total failure for most of the year. Naturally, these feelings did not suddenly disappear as the new year got closer, but I’m finally at a point where I can recognize (and appreciate) that some great things came out of last year too:

  1. My parents kindly gifted me with a new car
  2. I got a job after eight months of being unemployed
  3. camped for the first time
  4. I purchased a DSLR (Nikon D5600)
  5. I traveled to six new cities, one being international
  6. I went to two concerts and a musical (Ariana Grande, Jingle Ball 2017, Kinky Boots)
  7. I joined the newsletter committee on my team at work
  8. I strengthened my relationship with my mom exponentially
  9. I started video editing
  10. I stopped feeding into unhealthy and one-sided relationships

Those are just the main, compact-version of the highlights of 2017, and while they may be simple, they brought me pure, uninterrupted joy.One of my goals for the new year is to stop feeling the need to explain (read: over-explain) myself when I am trying to make a point. So my point in reflecting on how poor last year was–by my standards–is to show that I not only intend to bounce back, but I also never want to lose my drive and motivation to that extent again. I basically built a life for myself where I have always seen my hard work come to full fruition. It’s not about instant gratification or entitlement (for any millennial-haters out there), but simply the fact that I have been blessed enough that anything I put my mind to, I have achieved. In the grand scheme, I got everything I wished for in 2017, but it is in a totally different package than I imagined.

I know there are a lot of things that I cannot change about certain parts of my life at the moment, and that is the hard truth that I learned head-on about adulthood. However, that does not mean that everything that has made me who I am up to this point is completely null. It is also important to note the key phrase: at the moment. I almost ended 2017 completely unrecognizable to myself and it was a true wake-up call in the final weeks. I have always been driven and hard-working and I will continue to be that moving forward. My life isn’t black and white like it used to be for those 16 years of school when I knew exactly what the next step toward success was. I have since learned that success is subjective and that you can only plan so far ahead. But that is the beauty of life in some ways because it teaches you so much.

My overall theme for 2018 is to live honestly. I need to be more vulnerable with those closest to me. I need to stop comparing myself to others. I need to be pushed out of my comfort zone and challenged more often. I need to speak up when the opportunity strikes. I need to forgive myself more. I need to accept that many, if not most, things will be out of my control. Finally, I need to remind myself that everything is about perspective. I have no clue what lies ahead, but for the first time in my life, I am okay with that.

xx, AE

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