I am reflecting on the past year in my life, and on the past several as I write this. Four years ago, perhaps even to the day, I spent my last day in the ninth grade at North Cache Junior High School in Utah. I remember that day clearly. Mostly I remember that my mom was late to pick me up, and I waited outside of the school by the parking lot for her. All of my friends had already left on buses and a sense of loneliness and mild anxiety filled my fifteen year old gut. I have come light years since that day. There are still times that, at 19, I feel like a child who is playing dress up in adult clothes and mannerisms that don't really fit her. But there are other times when I think back on that day, and I feel so lucky to be where I am. It hasn't been an easy path, but it has been rewarding in ways that make it all worth it.
I am a constantly changing, always absorbing, complex individual, as are the rest of us. Even within the span of one year, there are so many things about myself that have changed, I don't know if I could even touch on all of them. If I were to go back and re-write my previous blog posts here, some of them would be completely different. Honestly, I don't like some of the ways in which I chose to address big issues in my posts in the past year. But changing them would take away from me; they wouldn't be an authentic representation of where I was in that specific moment anymore. They would simply be where I am now; but that's what this blog post is for!
Side note: at this exact moment I am listening to one of Taylor Swift's new songs. It was a total accident, I swear... (it wasn't, I love her so much, omgeee swifty for lyfe xoxoxoxoxoxoxox)
As I bring my time with the blog to a close, I look forward to the next new year. I look forward to having many more good, bad, and ugly days and learning from them like I have so far. In closing, I'd like to make a small list of the most important things I've learned from this year, The Year of the Ugly Wallpaper:
- Don't let the power of missing out rule your life. This has been a hard one for me, coming to college with the new workload means that sometimes I will have to sit in my room and study while my friends go do something fun.
- Related to the first: I learned how to better balance my "gauge of worth" for experiences that I do/don't want to have. Example: Am I doing this solely to please other people? To please myself? What are my motives? Will this fill my cup or leave me exhausted? etc.
- .If there ever arises an opportunity for you to buy a large, stuffed minion pillow, don't hesitate for a second.
- Being a college athlete is hard, but it gives you a community of people to relate to and grows your mental toughness game so much.
- Being entitled often leaves you feeling falsely defensive, and eventually, foolish when you realize that not everyone will treat you as special as mommy and daddy do.
- Baking cookies in a communal dorm kitchen is a really great way to make new friends.
- People are broken and hurting. Love them well. Encourage them, but don't bear the burden of fixing all of their problems.
- Lastly, one I'm still in process with now: forgiveness. Not excusing the person or pretending that they haven't wronged you, but accepting the pain wholeheartedly as your own and leaning on God's strength in healing.
Now on, to bigger and better things.