2019 has been a wild year on many accounts. Here are just a few of the highlights:
- I was accepted into a highly competitive major at my university
- I conquered a few of my worst fears – to the point that they don’t scare me anymore
- I directed a few short films. Yay for the arts!
- I traveled far and wide!
- I made a ton of new friends.
- Had tons of strange, character building experiences
- Adopted two new pets – one of them was a cat!
This year was probably one of the most character building years I’ve ever lived through. I faced a lot of challenges, a lot of disappointments, and a lot of last-minute changes which impacted me for months to come. Just in the last few months, two people close to me passed away – one a friend from my high school and the other a member of my family. Some of my friends ended up not being my friends, and others who I never spoke to before ended up becoming some of the people closest to me. In truth, nothing about this year went the way I thought or hoped it would.
Earlier this year I remember wondering whether or not I would classify this year as a good year or a bad one – because at the time I was at a place where I didn’t really believe it could be a little of both. My highs had been really high, but my lows had also been really low. Without being overly blithe about it, I wasn’t really sure how to reflect on a year which I felt I wouldn’t want to live over but also wouldn’t want to erase.
In all of my various reflections, it has occurred to me that the person going into 2019 wouldn’t recognize the person now leaving it. Perhaps that is true of every year, but this year in particular I faced things which forced me to give up limiting thoughts and behaviors and caused me to gain an emotional and, in some ways, a physical strength I didn’t have before.
It’s these things which I would never want to relive, but I can’t imagine who I would be without them. Maybe that’s the whole point of this yearly reflection – it’s not really about calling it a good year or a bad one, and not even about sorting through the good things and the bad things which happened.
Every year on January 1st, I write myself a letter which I then put away until the next year. When that next year comes around, I read it and compare the person who wrote that letter to the person now reading it. Through this little exercise, I usually discover that there is a massive difference. Maybe that’s the point after all. At the end of the year, did you become a better version of yourself? Did the person you were change into something better? The way that I see it, that is the only thing that matters.
This year has been insane for me. It feels longer than it was, mostly because so much has happened in such a short amount of time. However, like I said before, I wouldn’t undo any of it, even the worst parts, because I value too much the person I have become because of those things.
My hope for you is that no matter what happened to you in the past year, you are able to learn and grow from it in the same way I have. I hope that you are able to take the strength and courage you have earned from this year into the next one. I hope that life treats you better in the days to come than it did in the days behind you, but if they don’t, I hope you are able to find the strength and support you need to carry through until the sun shines again.
Happy New Year, everyone. I hope 2020 is a blast, and I’ll see you there!
Make sure to check out my post on meeting your goals for the coming year at https://therealanxiousintrovert.wordpress.com/2019/12/30/creating-new-years-resolutions-that-will-actually-stick/