|Have a Happy New Year Everyone!|
It has not been an easy year. To be honest, it has probably been one of the most difficult years of my life thus far. I feel like I've been tested time and time again and some days it's been really hard to see whether I'm passing or failing. But if there's one thing I've learned throughout the year, it's that it doesn't matter. What matters is that you try. You give it all you've got. So many people let fear run their lives and it keeps them from experiencing everything this world has to offer. In the end, not trying is the biggest failure of all.
Last year, my grandfather passed away. While I've had other people I've known pass away, this was the first time it affected me as greatly as it did. When he and my mother-in-law both passed, a huge part of me shut down. Suddenly I realized how short life really was and I couldn't help but think about all of the people in my life right now who one day, won't be here. This feeling was so strong and caused me to push away from those I love dearly and dreams that I once had. After all, in my mind, why does it all matter if you can't trust that it will always be here?
In the past few weeks, I'm not sure how this realization finally came to me but it did. I realized how much it does matter. Doing things you dream to do and being with the people you love matters. It's the reason why just weeks before my grandpa died, he looked at an album of his life and said, "I really did have a wonderful life." I realize now that when he passed away, there was no fear. There was no regret. He passed away with a smile on his face knowing that in the almost 89 years he was given, he succeeded. He had a million stories, a family he loved with all of his heart, and a lifetime of memories. The good, the bad. It doesn't matter. In the end, it's all just one long story. So where does it lead? What is it all for? I guess those are just two of life's many unsolved mysteries. We don't know and we probably never will. But if everything in life leads somewhere, than maybe death isn't an end. Maybe it's a new beginning that we just can't see.
This year, I've gone through so much change. I feel like I've been spending months battling where I am in life. Am I enough of an adult or am I too adult? I'm 23 years old and I feel like I've been having a far too soon mid-life crisis. The truth is, there is no timetable on who you are or where you are. You just are. Some days, I want to feel like a kid. I want to talk for my stuffed animals, watch "The Little Mermaid", and daydream about my future. Other days, I want to feel like a teenager again. I want to walk around in my shorts and crop top, film a wacky video, and play The Sims. And then other days, I want to feel like my "grown up" self. I want to dress in my fancy clothes, manage my business, organize the house, and run errands with my husband. I don't know if this is what being 23 is all about for everyone. But for me, this is where I am in life. I'm a little bit of everything and maybe that's okay, because maybe, I'm supposed to be. In the end, this is me.
The conclusion I've come to as this year wraps up, is that it's time to stop running. I'm an adult, I'm a kid, it doesn't matter. I am who I am and I'll continue to grow and change. At the end of the day, I think adulthood is just about accepting responsibility and allowing yourself to grow. We spend all of our childhood and teen years fighting adults because we think they're holding us back from growing up. And yet, when it's time to truly become an adult, the only person holding us back is ourselves. It's a scary world. No one's ever going to argue with that. But at some point, we just each have to take that leap and allow ourselves to experience whatever the future may hold. Because in the end, not experiencing it is far more terrifying than anything else.
Every year since 2005 on December 31st, I've filled out a recap of the year. My recaps include everything from fun facts like my favorite TV show and how we spent the holidays to heartbreaking moments and greatest memories. My favorite part, is that every year I fill out a prediction titled "Next year will be the year of...". I never look at my recaps or predictions again until the year comes to a close the following December.
Here's what I wrote on December 31st 2013:
"Next year will be the year of...accepting adulthood, moving forward, and becoming a stronger woman."It took me almost exactly a year to get there, but somehow, through all the struggles, the tears, and the doubt, without even realizing it, I did.
If I had looked at that prediction three weeks ago, I would've looked down, closed my eyes, and wished that it were true, but I would've known that it wasn't. It's weird how the heart and mind heals when you least expect it to. I don't know how or even when it happened. But just like everything else in life, it just did.
In almost every way, this year was full of the unexpected. Yet somehow, in almost exactly a year, I got to exactly where I wanted to be.