2013 was my year of growth. There’s no other word that describes it better. I remember being about twelve and asking my mother how you get to know someone. This applies to knowing yourself as well. She said “you just spend time with them, allow time to pass, see what they like to do and what they don’t and before you know it, you’ll know how they’ll react to most things; you’ll know them”. I turned 18 this year and this has been probably the year I’ve felt like a teenager the most; mood swings, struggling friendships, finding my way as a writer, getting through medical school, learning to love better, being kinder, treating people better, drawing closer to God and family. I felt like I was going to drown in everything a few times this year. I fell many times, lost my balance; lost sight of what was important.
In my mind, my year “started” after my blog’s “rebirth”. I’ve had that blog since I was 16 but in January this year, I just started to post tiny irrelevant updates again with amateur photography I’d done during the winter break. It was therapeutic to just ramble and share my thoughts even though I wasn’t sure anyone was reading. Apparently, people were. In March, my friend Kemi who runs a nice blog of her own suggested I move to wordpress; it let people comment and get involved more easily. After I’d spruced up the site, I fell in love with it and it has truly become home. Still in March, I wrote my first proper short story and guess what? PEOPLE LIKED IT! They commented and asked for more! Reading it now, I think it wasn’t all that but I was proud of it, still am. It brought me to writing again.
I’ve written a little over twenty short stories since then and each one has been better than the last. My blog following has grown so much! I’ve connected with so many people by means of my writing and sharing bits and pieces of my life, it has been wonderful. Speaking of connections, 2013 was my year of making and breaking them. I’ve let go of a few people who were doing nothing good in my life and others whose chapter in the book that is my life is simply over. I let go of people who held me back from growth, who made me feel bad about myself. And you know what I learned? God truly opens windows when one door closes! Yes, you need to say goodbye to some people to let better people in. I’ve gained such an amazing sisterhood of friends. They’re the kind who will call you from across the world to hear about someone who treated you badly, the kind who will have hour long Skype conversations and share their dreams with you. They send little messages to remind you of their love and ever supportive presence. They remind you that you are special and worth the trouble, on those days when you forget. I’ve also made a few friends who aren’t girls and I’ve learned to let people move at their own pace, to love, nurture, respect and understand and be content with the fact that people love you and let their imperfections just be cracks that you are privileged to pour your love into.
In 2013, I fought against many vices: perfectionism, pessimism, comparing myself with others, expecting perfection from others. I’m still fighting, but I’ve made so much progress, my heart smiles as I write this. I’ve fallen more in love with my family this year. I appreciate my parents and my brother so deeply; it’s not something I can explain. 2013 has taught me that doing what is right by God is a constant battle, but one that is worth it and I’m not quite ready to give up on. My faith has grown so much this year! School has been the most exhausting part of this year, but I’m a more persevering student, I don’t let failure get me down as much as it used to, I leap off of it, motivate myself to do better. Encourage myself. I’m currently in my toughest school year yet and me , even a year ago would’ve given up by now, I think. But this year, I’ve learned that things are really just the way you decide to see them. Perspective is everything.” Okay, I’ve failed this course, it’s done, what I can I do to fix it?” Be proactive. Be fearless. Fear is no man’s friend. He will take everything you have to give! And give nothing back.
In 2013, I’m thankful for good health, good grades, the lovely people who leave the loveliest comments on my blog and encourage me to keep writing and who spread word of the blog. I’m thankful for the gift of writing. I’m thankful for family, for good friends, for laughter, for good food, for good books and music. I’m thankful for social networks, for travel. This year I am thankful for incredibly supportive group mates. And of course the beautiful faces (and voices) of the One Direction boys! *swoon* Hearing and seeing them makes my day slightly better. I’m thankful for mistakes made, for wrong decisions made, because they helped me find the right ones. I’m thankful for solitude; I learn something new about myself everyday. I’m thankful for the weekends, they keep me sane.
What does 2014 look like? I want to love myself more, be kinder to myself, encourage myself and not compare myself to anyone else. I want to keep drawing closer to my heavenly father; I mean you can never be close enough. I want to love my people more. I’m trying to eat more too; school keeps stealing all my adipose tissue. Things are hardly ever as bad as they seem and there’s always a choice, a way out, but only if you keep fighting. Prayer works wonders, really, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I want to remember that if I always have to make excuses for people who aren’t good (enough) for me, then there’s a problem. Remember that people who care will always make time for you. It’s never too late to change your mind. If something doesn’t feel right: relationship, friendship, job offer, decision, anything; Never be afraid to walk away. And remember “Everything Good Will Come”.