*Camera pans to me sitting in front of fireplace in fluffy robe reading book* Why hello there! Long time no see! *Sets down book and removes glasses* *Puts glasses back on because I can't see*
For real though, my 21st year of life was SUMTHIN. Life is moving forward at breakneck pace, and while its a challenge to keep up some (most) of the time, it has been a wild ride of ups and downs. But I guess that's how life is supposed to be.
Remember the time when I had my first real job when I interned for FRESHFARM Markets last summer? On my first day I started crying because I had to talk to people on the phone and no one wanted to talk to me. But it's cool because I got through it, and I gained a lot of valuable experience as a working professional. (But I still don't like talking on the phone unless its to my mom and/or dad.) I made lots of friends and connections, got lots of free and discounted produce (yaaasssss!), and gained a little more confidence in myself. Because, you know, social anxiety.
Remember when I was an RA for the first time and I felt like a loser during training because everyone seemed to have friends already and I was just alone? It's cool though because now, I think all of us have bonded over our year-long struggle (turn on CNN or Fox News and you'll know what I mean). Also, I haven't pulled an all-nighter in college until this year. I blogged like a mad woman last summer, and then it all fell off when school started. However, this experience has been so rewarding because I have gotten to interact with so many different types of people and learn from their knowledge and experiences. I am not afraid to say that I am a privileged person, and there are other people that are not. It is not my job to save them, but I hope to be their ally as we all struggle to find equity, unity, and understanding. (P.S. remember that time me and 500,000+ other people around the world marched for that in January?) And I hope to return to blogging more regularly soon.
Remember the time I decided to re-prioritize my physical, mental, and emotional health after being (continuing to be) sick for this whole semester? In January, I got a cold and a cough and the health center found an unusual bacteria in my throat, so I went on antibiotics. And then that didn't work so I got sick again before I went to the Florida Keys for Spring Break. When I was sitting with my cousin Lauren in Walgreens waiting for my new antibiotic prescription, I literally told her screw everything else, I have to be a healthy person again! (I may have also been a little messed up because they gave me a bronchodialator (a stimulant) at the clinic we went to but the sentiment was real.) Since then, I have tried to sleep during normal sleeping hours, eat more vegetables, and make small efforts to get back to exercise again, with a great deal of patience for the fitness I lost over the past year. But really, health is a journey, not a destination, so it's okay that progress is slow. I feel a world of difference with the small changes I have been making (even though I'm still coughing...).
After the rush of starting medication last year, this year I have seen my mental health challenged again. I guess I'm on a low enough dose of an SSRI that sometimes anxiety breaks through (also this year was exceptionally stressful). However, I think that's a good thing because it gives me the opportunity to learn how to cope instead of numbing my feelings with drugs. People have all different reasons to take medication at whatever dose they need to, and that's okay. But I appreciate that mine takes the edge off and I can do some work to be better myself.
On the bright side, I got my period again last August after 5 years of not getting it because I was too thin. Don't tell me that's an awkward thing to say because it's a natural thing that happens to half the world's population. It still kind of sucks though. (Remember that time I emailed Kara Goucher on the verge of tears because I don't know how I am going to maintain it and be a badass runner? I do... but she (or her PR team) responded!) Also, my booty looked hella good at Founders Day because I gained some weight so...
Remember when I lived in D.C. for the summer? Remember when I dyed my hair (twice) and then cut it all off? Remember when I started learning Spanish again? Remember when I got to see Coldplay live for the first time? Remember when I went to Atlanta for the first time for a journalism conference? Remember when I started to have a more significant relationship with my cousins and it was really awesome when they came to visit me? Remember when I decided I am going to be internet famous? Remember when I got accepted to the 5 year BS/MS program for Health Promotion at AU? Remember when I had my first sip of alcohol and that was all I had because I'm lame and I'm still afraid of what's going to happen if I drink more?
A lot of this year has been about going out on a limb and challenging myself to try new things. Some things worked, some things didn't, and that's cool because now I know and I have a lot of things going for me that maybe wouldn't have happened if I didn't try. Things are not perfect by any means, but they're never going to be. Although, I do feel like I'm on the edge of something wonderful and great, and once I give myself the last kick in the butt I'm going to achieve things I never thought were possible. As long as I keep challenging myself and sticking with my word of the year #Fearless everything is going to turn out just as it should.
I am going to carry the challenges I faced this year with me as I go forward. One way or another, I got through it all. I for sure don't know 100 percent where I'm going, but with the goals I have, it's going to take some determination and grit to get there. I can only push myself to be better in the next year as I did in the one just past.