Can you pack a lifetime into a year?
I’ve been sitting in front of this blank piece of paper for about three hours now, just today, trying to figure out what the hell to write about this year.
It has been a process—the writing, I mean—the year too, of course. I’ve sat down multiple times in the last week to reflect, and it has been so painful that I’ve had to stop and start over several times to truly feel everything I needed to feel.
I could tell you that it was the best year—or the worst—ever! That it has been a field of posies and you can do it too. But that wouldn’t be the full truth.
So, here we are. It’s December 31, 2019. End of a year, end of a decade, end of an era.
Let’s see, it started in Boston and Maine. Then, I turned 25. Then, life happened, and I chose to change it.
It was a year full of challenges and reflection. Of meeting myself, of rekindling dreams I had stashed away in a drawer somewhere while I sat in my comfort zone.
A year to be truly grateful for—because it woke me up.
It forced me to look at my life up to that moment, to remember who I thought I was going to be, and then design who I truly want to be in the future. The funny part is, when I was a child, I thought that by 25 I was going to have it all figured out, and throughout this year my greatest blessing was that all of it fell apart.
Perhaps within this marvelous year of change, the greatest challenge was that of trusting myself enough to:
- Choose myself, my mental health, and my wellbeing above comfort.
- Chase after the goals I wanted to accomplish and fight for my dreams.
And it has been a fight. Not necessarily in the way that we may think of the word—I haven’t gone to battle and killed a bunch of people. But, a fight with my own damn self to believe, to trust, to push forward even when I thought I couldn’t.
That was the beauty of this year. That I learned so much about everything, but most of all, I learned about myself, and from there I was able to love and nourish so many around me.
I set out to build a business from absolutely nothing, in a field completely unrelated to my own, in spite of the negative opinions of others toward my decisions.
I lost friends and people I cared about along the way, but I gained new ones that have brought on new perspective and growth.
Finally, the biggest lesson of all for me has been the following: to be present in the now, because happiness is the journey, not the destination.
There have been moments where I had no other choice but to sit myself down and feel. Where silence and time spent with those I love has been the vital currency that kept me pushing. Where every moment spent outside of the grind has been a moment laced with pure joy and appreciation.
By nature, I am a planner, and when this year dragged my plans through the mud, I learned that the best plan, the best gift, the best step I can take into constructing a future is being happy. I’ve applied this recently during the holidays and have never felt so much overwhelming love and hope in my life.
This Christmas, for example, I made it a point to be observant. I was attentive to the things my family members were saying, to their expressions, to how much they have changed and progressed. I paid attention also to the turning of the decade, to the fact that at the beginning of it I was still in high school and now I’m a budding entrepreneur.
I paid attention to the friends that have walked with me throughout this rocky, shaky, uncertain journey. To the ones that have stayed—no matter what the weather.
I’m not sure what your journey holds, dear reader. I’m not sure if this was a great year, or a bad year, or perhaps a mediocre year. What I know is that in the next one, I wish you only that your dreams come true. That you learn, that you grow, that you become a better human being, and that you find peace within yourself.
Thank you, for being a part of my journey. For being a teacher. For being you.
Happy 2020! Happy Decade! Happy Life!