What I’ve Learned in 2014

I have a lot to say about 2014.

In 2014, I graduated from college with two degrees and made the last-minute decision to pursue a Master of Social Work. I’ve been in school for six years now. I can’t always decide if I made a good choice to continue right away or not. It depends on the day, frankly. Right now, I think I made a good choice.

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I also made the decision to not get married. I almost took the plunge and almost dove head-first into what I knew would have been a frustrating and unhappy marriage. I no longer loved my ex-fiancé. The relationship was souring day after day and I found myself living in a state of unhappiness and exhaustion. Not getting married to him is the best decision I’ve made in my life so far.

On a positive note, I reconnected with my brothers and the family who adopted them, who are also my family. I could not be more grateful for all of the family I have.

It’s been a year full of ups and downs. Luckily, there’s been more ups than downs.

I’m now with someone who makes me feel happy and loved. For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m being treated the way I deserve to be treated. I’m with someone that I’m not afraid to be myself around.

I do know that I’ve learned a lot in the past year.

I decided to compile a list of all of the nuggets of wisdom from 2014:

*If you aren’t happy with something in your life, change it.
*Don’t settle for less than what you deserve.
*Give yourself a break; you’re only human, you need rest and a mental recharge.
*You will never, ever be perfect.
*Only a few people in this world are worth suffering for.
*You don’t need to compare your life to the lives of your peers. What you see on social media is mostly smoke and mirrors.
*Admitting fault or that you are wrong is hard, but it’s the right thing to do.
*Listen to your inner voice, especially when it is loud.
*It is never too late to start planning for adventures you want to embark on.
*Every single moment is temporary. Enjoy the moments of joy and live through the moments of pain as best as you can.
*The best choice is usually the toughest choice.
*It’s okay to not know exactly what you are doing. We’re all faking it in one way or another.

I hope 2015 has a lot of good fortune in store. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. However, I do want to be a better person in 2015. I want to be kinder, smarter, more thoughtful, more confident, and take more (safe) and exciting risks. I can only do my best and be my best.

I am going into the new year with a little bit of uncertainty for financial reasons. It is highly difficult being a full-time graduate student living on a small income. I make it work, but it barely does.

All struggles make us much more aware and grateful of what we have. To me, this struggle, while stressful as hell, is a minor bump in the road.

It will all work out one way or another. It always does.

I’m nervous and excited for the upcoming year. I want to make more memories with family and friends. Spend money (when I can afford it) on memories, not materials. I want to learn new skills, do well in my first year graduate school, maybe even take up a full time job and go to school part-time.

If I could right now, I’d take what money I had and go on a road trip across the U.S. or take a plane over to a European country and stay in a hostel for a couple of weeks.

I would like to live in another state or even another country for a little while. Who says I can’t? Nobody. Only I can say whether I can or can not.

I have a lot of goals and dreams to fulfill before I decide to settle down one day. I came too close to settling for shit in the past year and I will never do that again. I don’t plan to, at least.

For the first time in my life, I can say and believe that I deserve the best and I deserve to be the best I can be.

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