When I was younger, I liked to journal around the end of the year and do my own personal “Year in Review.” Those seeking secrets can comb through the various journals to find what notable events happened in my life in February 2006, for example, or at any point during my senior year in high school. I lost enthusiasm for the tradition a few years back though, but since this is my first New Year’s with a blog, I figure what better way than to revive that habit here?
2012. For years, the idea of this year inhabited a far-off corner of my mind as the year in the future during which I would graduate college, and as such, it seemed so distant. But a year ago at this point in time, the clock struck midnight and suddenly reality sunk in that many cherished parts of my life would come to an end. But I don’t think I had any concept of all that would begin, either. For in one year’s time, while I did see the endings in the form of the accomplishment of some major goals, including earning a Bachelor’s degree and completing an undergraduate thesis, I embarked on several new and exciting moments, too.
The first is the teaching career I have longed dreamed of. I went to the wedding of a friend from high school a few weeks ago where I was reunited with a few old friends and acquaintances from high school. Those I had lost touch with expressed a similar sentiment to me: “You’re teaching!!! That’s what you always wanted to do!!” And there was something so refreshing and inspiring in that. It’s so easy to become bogged down in the everyday stress of my first-year of teaching, and to have a reminder of that long-held dream was warmly welcomed to give me the refreshment I needed to get me through the second half of this long but fruitful year.
I also started graduate school. While I openly admit I am not the student I once was, which I suspect is the case with anyone who pursues a degree while working full-time, it sometimes gives me chills to think how in a relatively short period of time I will be one step further along in my career. Whenever I am on campus for class, I often overhear conversations of undergraduates and marvel at how that was me not too long ago – it seems so distant and yet it is not at all.
But I have also begun adulthood more fully this year, a less tangible beginning than a career or an education, but all the more important in many ways. Here I am, juggling work and school and responsibilities and friendships with people scattered literally all over the country, as life often spreads those closest to you at varying geographic distances. In many ways, it is so incredibly scary to think how much more adulthood will bring within the coming years: more bills, more duties at work, my own place to live, relationships, maybe even a family. And as scary as it is, it so incredibly exciting. There is so much unknown that is waiting to be discovered, and while, with every unknown, there are sure to be challenges and disappointments, I also know from experience that some of the most beautiful blessings come from the unknown as well.
I will always have nostalgia for the year that was 2012, a year that started with living amongst some of the greatest friends in the world with whom I made happy memories on a constant basis and that ended amidst newness and transition. But here’s to 2013, a year that will hopefully bring many more beginnings and exciting and memorable moments in life with friends and family.