sun setting over lake in florida

2018: The Year That Changed My Life

I guess you could say it’s a silly title. Every year changes my life in one way or another. In 2016 I chopped off a big chunk of my hair and with that, my insecurities. In 2017 I went to South Africa, Namibia, England, and Greece. I’m still trying to figure out how to sum up 2018 in one sentence. Obviously it’s not going well, so here we are, with an entire blog post instead.

I spent spring break with some of my favorite people in Florida. I watched as some of my best friends graduated college and continued on to conquer the real world. I turned 21, worked doubles all summer, and got a car. I stepped on a nail and had to go to the ER. I had my heart broken. I won my first sales competition. I visited my sister in England. And now, as 2018 is ending and graduation is inching nearer, I’m trying to figure out what to make of 2019.

It’s easy to get whisked away and overwhelmed by future plans. In order to grow, I think it’s so important to be able to take a moment to reflect on our past before we can continue into the future. I know that sounds corny in a thousand different ways, but if there’s anything that 2018 taught me, it’s that learning about yourself is the most important knowledge you can ever acquire.

We rush to get a job and we rush to settle down and we rush to retire. I watched as people around me were accepting full time post-grad offers, and watched as people from my hometown got engaged, and felt rushed. Then I realized that all of this rushing won’t get me anywhere if I don’t take the time to figure out what I want and what will bring me joy, otherwise I’m just just rushing in circles.

I love the sound of ocean waves being carried through the air on a foggy morning. I love the way that time ceases to exist when I’m editing a video or writing a piece, the way that passion consumes us in the best moments of work and relationships. When you can have an entire conversation with someone with a single glance or the brush of a hand. I love the way that every breath has the power to remind me that I am alive and that the only moment we’ll ever really have is this one.

But we also have to understand our fears. I’m afraid of jellyfish. I used to have this irrational fear when I was younger that if I held a baby it would throw up on me (questionable, I know). I’m afraid of losing someone I love, whether it’s to death or distance or some other unknown. The way that four years of college have flown by and left me on a branch, with no way out of the tree except to jump.

This has been a year of ups and downs, beginnings and endings, but most of all, growth. The best thing that 2018 taught me was how to learn about myself. I’m stubborn as an ox (being born in the year of the ox didn’t help my cause, either), but I would do absolutely anything for the people I love. I’m loyal to a fault. Once I dip my spoon into a container of ice cream I may accidentally eat the entire thing due to lack of self control. I’m one of those freaks who loves running to relieve stress. And last, but most importantly, after finishing Game of Thrones in an alarmingly short amount of time, that I should not watch a series that is available for binge watching.

So, having survived 2018, I’d say it’s time to bring on the next year of adventures.

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