Out with the old, in with the new.

At the end of every year, as is typical for most people, there comes this period of reflection and excitement. Obviously, reflection upon the past year; all the ups, downs, twists and turns that came with it. And then there’s excitement for the year ahead, shrouded in mystery with a seemingly endless supply of opportunities.

As I look back on 2014, I realize that so many things happened. It passed, as is common for me to say at the end of every year, “in the blink of an eye,” it seems. With every experience that stands out for this year, of which there are many, I think I gained some insight, learned some lessons, and questioned so many other aspects of life that will (hopefully) be answered in years to come.

For this entry, I think I will pick out the most pivotal and meaningful events and explain what I realized for the first time, realized once again, or have yet to learn, from each one.

1. Long Distance Sucks
Can I get an amen on that please? But seriously. Trying to maintain a relationship through distance is difficult. Though my boyfriend and I were not as far apart as other couples I have known to be in long distance relationships, it was still difficult. But, we were able to get through it together, thankfully. LOTS of ups and downs came from this. The prevailing message that I think of, though, is that if someone is worth the effort, and if you care about the person enough, you will make it work.

2. Never Take People For Granted
With the loss of my best friend’s mother WAY too soon, I was reminded that nothing in life is permanent. Everything in this life is fragile; people, things, relationships…if you don’t cherish everything in the moment, you could lose it in the blink of an eye. Life is fleeting. Make sure to be honest, laugh loud, love hard, tell people how you feel and live like every day is your last. Cliché as it is, I try to live by this as much as possible. Sometimes, though, life gets in the way, and we aren’t reminded again until tragedy strikes.

3. Breakdown
Anxiety is something I have always been familiar with. It has been a natural part of my life for as long as I can remember, to be honest. It wasn’t until earlier this year, however, that I realized how much it affected my day-to-day life. Through a series of events, I came to realize just how important close family and friends are to our survival. I realized that the human brain is one of the most complicated, confusing and misunderstood things, and that no two people are exactly alike. I realized therapy is NOT just for crazy people, and that sometimes just talking with someone trustworthy is beneficial in ways beyond our comprehension.

4. The Return Home
I learned you are never too old to return home. It’s as simple as that, really.

5. Unemployment
Sometimes life knocks you down, hits you where it hurts, and reminds you that you are only human. I learned that sometimes doors close so that bigger, better ones can open; Comebacks are possible; God wouldn’t give us more than we can handle. Basically, I learned a lot from this.

6. Relationships are HARD WORK
Seriously. My relationship with my boyfriend has been difficult throughout the nearly 2 years we have been together. For some reason, it seems that this year was a big example of relationships requiring compromise, change, and sometimes even ultimatums. No human being is perfect, and no one is your ideal match. Both parties must work together in order for the relationship to continue to work. There is no “cookie cutter” perfect relationship, and no two relationships are the same.

7. Being An Adult Is Hard Work, Too
Now, I’m still learning what it means to be an adult. I have been for a couple years now. Transitioning from college student to full-time adult has been a long and tough process for me! Deciding the kind of life you want to lead as an adult, where you want to settle down (or if you even want to settle down) are all choices my peers and I will constantly be faced with. We will change our minds several times over the course of our lives, and we will constantly discover new things about ourselves through these journeys. It has been hard for me to accept this, and I have felt stressed to know my answers to these questions for quite awhile. I am constantly learning, however, that I will discover these answers in due time. I need to be patient and not stress myself out. Easier said than done, though, but a lesson I will continue to learn, nonetheless.

I’m sure there are other things I have learned in my year, because so much has happened. I have grown as a person this yea. Regardless of what events I may not have included, everything has helped me to become the person I am today.

I am so excited to see what I learn in 2015. Maybe I’ll finally discover the meaning of life…but probably not. 🙂 That’s okay, I’m perfectly content with learning everything one step at a time. Happy (almost) New Year, everyone!

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