I will remember 2016 as an important year. I traveled. I loved. I fought. I learned. I grew.
In the beginning, I was trying to salvage a relationship that was already dead. I replaced it for a relationship with myself. I lost the weight I cried over. I learned how to cook from my best friend, whom I even managed to remain friends with after rooming together! While I’ll remember the moment I left her standing in our doorway for the last time, I’ll also remember the many moments we shared, laughing and talking about the universe, the ground a million miles below us.
That friendship didn’t come easy – we had to fight for it. Usually, I’ll let people drift away if they want, but this one was different. This one mattered. It will always matter.
Another surprise friendship came from my cats. Yes, they get an early mention. They’re always there (technically, they can’t leave), but they also show me affection when I think I’m all alone. I’m never alone with Zeus trailing behind at my heels! I joke that it annoys me, but deep down we both know I love it.
When I finally rid myself of the dead weight – literally and figuratively – I was left hot but jaded. For a while, I was too distracted to care. I found a new love in business. Clearly, I love new and challenging experiences. I agreed to an entrepreneurial position without even knowing the definition of “equity,” a question that came up during a student entrepreneurial program interview that I was fortunate enough to receive in the end. Both opportunities – and countless others – proved to myself that I can learn, I can be coached, and I can demonstrate mastery over something if I put my mind towards it and engage with it.
Engage being the keyword here. You have to get your hands dirty, feel uncomfortable, fail sometimes, get back up, and ultimately take the plunge.
Don’t think, just do.
By not thinking and just doing, I skydived, I got on a radio show, I snorkeled in the Keys, I set off the alarm system in LAX, I found a secret beach, I attended amazing concerts, and I fell in love. The last one, while short lived, was real while it lasted.
I wouldn’t change a thing about 2016. I appreciate all the lessons I learned, the new best friends I made, and the self-confidence I gained, both physically and mentally. I learned that to repair broken relationships you must take baby steps. In order to become a better dancer, you must practice. In order to become stronger, you must lift weights. The overarching theme here: progress is a process. It’s gradual and slow….even though I want it to go from 0-100 (real quick).
Yet, there are some things that don’t require any time at all! Like walking into a stranger’s apartment with full intentions of going to the gym, but ending up spending two hours sifting through their record collection instead.
Who knows what 2017 will hold? I don’t want to know, but I do know that 2016 has prepared me with what’s to come, whether it’s moving to China, getting a big girl job, or falling in love.