2016, My Year of Growth

2016 was one of the best years of my life. It is a year which I will be able to look back on and pinpoint several moments that helped shape the person I will become.
There are a few key aspects I feel the need to write about in order to start 2017 the right way, acknowledging lessons and experiences I’ve had to keep in mind for the changes I would like to produce this year.

#1. My summer semester in Europe. I am sure that my summer will be referenced to in many future blog posts so I don’t want to get carried away with too much detail here but there are a few things my trip to Europe taught me. First of all, I mainly went to Europe to complete two different school programs. When applying for these programs as well as participating in them I realized how little confidence I had in myself, my oppinons and my skills. This self-doubt would have gotten me nowhere. Thank God my blunt german professor let me cry in her office while she told me to never doubt myself and that my thoughts and ideas were valid and insightful. My brain is just too busy, I need to write things down. She also expressed a hope for me to get into academia because of the way I approach aspects of history, which was the push I needed to focus myself and take school and the material I engage with seriously.

#2. My time alone in Europe. I had five whole weeks inbetween programs where I traveled to 4 different countires all by myself. I didn’t think being alone would be scary at all, but there were points in my trip where I realized how hard it was. I had to eat alone in retaurants – something I was always not willing to do because I feared judgment and looks etc. I had to navigate alone, attempt communication with people who spoke other languages. But, I also set my own schedule, I had no plans, no one to impress but myself. My time alone and the situations where I had to make friends or go out and do an activity alone made me much more comfortable with who I am. I no longer needed to fulfill the expectations I assumed poeple had of me because I got so used to just doing me. This is something I lost a bit when I come back from Europe, this year I want to constantly remind myself of my trip mentality.

#3. I feel super strange writing this down but if I cant say this why do I even have a blog. Realizing the effects of love, the different kinds of love, and the effects of heartbreak. This year I understood that some of my actions, habits, and mindsets in 2016 were the effect of being in love and getting my heartbroken. It never me before that my feelings toward this Dude were actually love. It wasn’t a relationship, there was no communication, just me, then him, separate people, who occasionally kissed and slept in the same bed. no lie. thats all it is. My imagination and romantic disposition made it into something more. But, I realized that I do love him. Instead of denying this which was something I felt I had to do, I accepted it. When I realized nothing would happen I was heartbroken and looking back now I can see changes in my personality and daily life that were affected by this sadness, and I’ve accepted that too. Being aware of my feeling towards The Dude and how they impact my success? or at least distract me from focusing on things that better me instead or make me sad and bring me down, is my third lesson I need to constantly remember in order to maintain a focus, a drive, and also a respect for who myself and the amazing future I see for me.

This year has ultimately been a year of growth, giving me the tools I need to transition into a better version of myself.  Hopefully, I will continue to document the journey.
– T




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