There’s something about the end of another year that makes me stir crazy. It leaves me itching for change. Some years, it’s a new hairstyle or a tattoo. Other years, I’m seeking a new adventure. I have the burning desire to change anything that I can. I suppose it’s because the end of each year leaves me feeling like I have less and less control over my life – that I need to immediately seek out something in my life that I can have control over.
2016 has been a transformative year for me. I graduated with my BA. I couch surfed for six months, living out of suitcases and a little brown backpack. My personal life has seen its ups and downs. Friends have come and gone out of my life. I traveled to new places. This year has provided it’s own unique struggles to me. And with each struggle, came a new lesson.
Graduating from college had me feeling lost. School had been the only constant in my life. That’s how we grow up, right? We spend our lives attending school and doing homework. It’s just how life works. What happens when you’re suddenly just done? I’ll tell you what happened with me at least: I felt lost as hell and didn’t know where to go. The post-grad job didn’t come easy to me. It’s been eight months since I graduated, and I’m still without a full time job related to my degree. This has really shown me the importance of flexibility. I’ve worked so many random jobs so that I could somewhat survive. And even then, I couldn’t afford to do much more than merely survive. Hence the six months of couch surfing. What an adventure that all was. Sometimes “going with the flow” becomes a philosophy to live by. Life can throw some serious hurdles. Fighting the tide just left me exhausted and angry. I’m slowly coming to accept my weird life. After all, what is life if it’s not interesting?
My personal life has been all over the place. I let go of the friends who left me feeling drained. I don’t need added negativity in my life. I found friends who accept me for the weirdo that I am. They’re loving and supportive people – the types of people I feel lucky to have. Everybody has their own beautiful personality. Somehow we’ve created the best little group of friends. There is always somebody to pick me up when I need a little boost. I learned that letting go of people isn’t always a bad thing. It’s taken me 22 years to realize not everyone belongs in my life.
And I’ve definitely done a lot of traveling this year. I’ve traveled to California numerous times, New Orleans, Wisconsin, Georgia, Alabama, Illinois, all over Florida. Life has been nothing short of an adventure. I feel at home in the airport. Navigating through various gates and flight schedules is a breeze. I know how to travel across the country to a foreign city without a phone and catch the subway to the nearest Apple Store (because I had to do that twice). I know how to stave off hunger when I still have eight hours of travel left but only $6 in my bank account. It’s these little moments that have taught me the most. They’re the quirks of life. Life is dull without them. It’s time to embrace these moments – pause and reflect on them.
The thing I’d like to change when I leave 2016 is my approach to life. I need to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Problems can be solved. Hard times don’t have to be permanent. There is beauty in the struggle. I’m going to change my outlook. I want to be a positive person capable of adapting. I don’t have to be the person I’ve seen in the mirror every day. I will change my perspective. And well, I’ll probably still change my hairstyle.