2017 was filled with many challenges but so much growth.
When I look back at the year 2017, my head spins a bit. So much happened in a fairly short time. My life changed dramatically as I moved from Florida to China in 2016, settled there more in 2017, and then moved back to the USA.
However, I changed even more than my geographical location. Not understanding a word around me but having to find my own apartment and find directions taught me to ask for help even if I looked clueless. Teaching children and planning creative lessons taught me to trust myself more as a leader and artist. Working with children and feeling alone in a new culture taught me that I did want a family one day. Having a happy relationship continues to teach me that I’m lovable with all my quirks and faults.
The beginning of a new year is when people often make resolutions. They decided what to change, what to add more of, and what to do less. Exercise, technology, work, eating habits, school, religion – there are many different goals that are set.
I rarely (if ever) thought of New Year’s resolutions growing up because I tried to make a difference each day instead of at the beginning of a year. However, setting goals is something that helps me. Thus, stumbling across the video below gave me the idea for how to start 2015 off well.
Christine, my sister, with me at The Phantom of the Opera
Happy New Year! 2015 has just begun, and I am already exhausted. However, that does not mean there are not many wonderful times ahead of me. It simply indicates that I have been working an awful lot lately.
Anyway, in honor of this new year, here are some of the things that I am thankful for and anticipating that will happen in the next 12 months.
Over the past year, I have grown so much and been greatly blessed. There were both beautiful and heart-wrenching moments. As this last day of 2014 finishes, thinking and writing about my favorites from this year seemed appropriate.
Thus, I decided to choose ten different categories and write my ten favorites of those things. By the way, can you guess my favorite number for lists? Each list is in no specific order. Thus, one does not mean my favorite or the best. It is simply the order they happened in or how I wrote them down on the post.
1. Moments – The ones I will not soon forget
Studying abroad in Oxford
Writing, acting in, and touring with Theater on Purpose: Cathedral
Finding a waitress/running job for myself at a movie theater
Moving onto campus at school with two wonderful roommates
Seeing Demi Lovato in concert
Being a mother to a dying child in The Yellow Boat
Finaling in speech team
Receiving a job from my internship at Celebrity Cafe
Tutoring people at school (many great moments)
Feeling beautiful in my red dress at the film festival at school
My parents never pressured my sisters or me to write New Year’s resolutions. Thus, despite my love of goals and lists, this tradition has never been part of my life. Listening to other people rattle off their desire to lose weight, exercise more, stop eating certain foods, etc. filled me with embarrassment and guilt. How come I was the only one unwilling to change for the better? Was I too proud to see my own failings? Did I constantly overlook my weaknesses and refuse to address my mistakes? Sometimes, I tried to whip up a quick list of things I wanted in the coming year, but usually I just shuffled my feet and mumbled excuses for not participating in this activity. Only a selfish, lazy, immature person would refuse to make a New Year’s resolution, right?
In treatment for my eating disorder, I celebrated the end of 2011 and beginning of 2012. Last year, the hospital staff heralded in the New Year with me. Both times, health providers encouraged patients to choose a word for the coming year instead of making resolutions. In their opinions, this would not fill a person with guilt but motivate living with a purpose.