2013 was a weird year. Overall, I think 2013, for me, was a year of growing up and moving on. I think a lot of that had to do with getting out of a long and drawn out relationship and ending my year of service with AmeriCorps at HandsOn Atlanta. We can only hold out on growing up for so long. Especially this year, having to attend memorial services for a 19 year old and a 26 year old, I’ve come to appreciate the privilege of getting older. It’s the first year I’ve attended two funerals. But, also two of my cousins and two of my friends got engaged. Two of my cousins also had babies. I guess it was a lot of ups and downs.
I’ve had a lot of great memories though and I am so thankful for that. I celebrated my 24th birthday in Austin, TX with a reunion with my sister and two cousins. I only had one trip to New York this year, as opposed to my usual 4-5. But, it was for a great occasion, Amy’s bridal shower! It’s always a good time when I get to see my family. Only 3 more weeks-ish until I am back in New York for wedding 1 of 4 this year!
I also had the great opportunity to plan the annual Convention for my sorority. But, if you’re an avid follower of my blog, you already know all about that.
I was able to do three races, paint four paintings, and complete three more things on my bucket list. I did pretty badly with the bucket list this year. Hopefully, 2014 will be full of more adventures. But, not crazy adventures like when my car was broken into this year… while I was at work… in broad daylight.
Well, I won’t bore you with a recap of things I’ve already wrote about in this blog. I did learn some pretty big lessons in 2013.
1. It’s okay to ask for help. I think I mentioned this somewhere before, but life is not a solo journey. It’s meant to be shared with people. This year was really rough for me as far as getting out of an unhealthy relationship and still dealing with issues of guilt after my uncle’s death. I have to say, I really wouldn’t have made it without my friend, Nick.
Going back to Athens for grad school was really weird. I didn’t have the same crew to hang out. I really didn’t expect Nick to be the one to talk me through all of my issues with my uncle and help me to remember all the good stuff instead. I guess it helps talking to, not only someone who will listen, but someone who’s point of view hasn’t been swayed yet.
I also went to therapy for two months. Mostly to deal with the grief with my uncle’s passing, but also other, normal 20-something year old issues. Sometimes you just need someone to talk to. I think therapy gets a bad rap of being for the crazies. But, it really helped me to learn a lot about myself and think of things in a different way. I credit my therapist for helping me tear down the barriers that have been holding me back from being the best me I can be. Resolution #1: Include people in my life.
2. People don’t care the way they should anymore. I had this conversation with a friend. I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s social media, all the distractions with technology and the media, or this blanket of apathy that has seemed to engulf the planet, but people just don’t care about things as much as they cared before. Remember the days when you would come down with a cold and someone would bring you soup? Or when you get out of the hospital and people would bring flowers to your house? The days when you liked someone and actually made a move instead of poking them on Facebook? When people actually put effort behind making time for each other?
I’m not saying that I’m not guilty of this either. I’ll send a get well soon e-card. I’ll send a text instead of making a phone call or an in-person visit. I’d really like to make this a conscious effort in 2014, Resolution #2. I don’t want to be the lazy friend. I want people to know how much they mean to me, which leads me into my last point.
3. Life is way too short and unpredictable to hold anything back. Someone told me that I need to take advantage of being in grad school while I still have the chance. Yes, you should work your ass off because you’re there for an education. But, there is also a world of opportunities for making new connections, adventures, and a whole array of mistakes waiting to be made.
I have spent too much time dwelling on the past and worrying about the future. Yes, it’s good to look to the past and learn from it. But, each day is different. Just because something bad happened in the past, doesn’t mean it will happen again. And yes, you should plan for the future. But, it shouldn’t be a constant worry that keeps you from living in the present. Somethings just need time to build, grow, and play out on their own. In time, what that universe has been building up for us will be unraveled at just the right moment. Until then, you just have to roll with the punches. Resolution #3: Go with the flow.
Oh and I have a random Resolution #4: Take more videos. I want my 2014 recap video to be actual videos instead of a slide show. And maybe Resolution #5: Take more pictures of people than food.
I don’t know what 2013 has done for you. But, when I look back on everything that has happened and all the lessons I’m walking away with, I can say that 2013, you were just what I needed. Thanks, but it’s time to see what 2014 will have in store for me.
Happy New Year, my lovely friends and family. I probably don’t say it enough, but I love you all.
My sign language is rough since I took the course over the summer. Please don’t judge me. Also, photo credits to Christina L, Amy N, April H, James K, Michael L, Christine H, Jessica W, Nyla L, Shital L, Tariq C, Amanda S, Manida C, and Jamie C. Sorry if I missed someone. Enjoy!