What 2015 Taught Me
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What 2015 Taught Me

I'm ready for you, 2016.

What 2015 Taught Me

The past year flew by like a whirlwind. I remember counting down the days on many occasions: until graduation, until college, until Christmas break. There were a lot of moments that I wished away, begging for a break from the chaos. There were many moments, too, however, that I wanted to freeze, to capture in a little box and save forever. I would guess that every year contains moments like these. 2015, though, was different. It taught me a lot about myself and about the people I surround myself with. So, as 2016 begins, I reflect on the many things the last 12 months have taught me.

1. Change is scary. I am allowed to be intimidated.

Getting my top choice college acceptance letter seemed a paradoxical moment for me. I was ecstatic about going on to bigger and better things, but daunted by the changes that lay ahead of me. So much would be different: new people, new places, very little familiarity. To be honest, I was a little shaken up by the whole thing. It seemed like everyone else was ready to leap forward into the unknown when I was still standing back, barely dipping my toes in the water. This was not the case, however; everyone around me was just as intimidated. "Fake it 'til you make it," I was told. It seemed that everyone else was.

2. Not everyone that comes into your life will stay.

I am a firm believer that some relationships are only meant to be temporary. Sometimes we are meant only to learn something from the people that drift in and out of our lives. Whether they leave a trail of destruction, leaving us to pick up all the dirty pieces, or they leave without an explanation, leaving us only to wonder; oftentimes, we can look back and identify the lesson that we needed to learn. And sometimes, we are the ones that have to leave. This year taught me that, often, it's better to leave quietly.

3. For your own sake, forgive.

Bitterness is a heavy burden to carry. While it is often easier to hold onto our anger and continue to blame someone for hurting us, it's exhausting and keeps us from finding peace. Sometimes, we can be so convinced of our injustices that we don't see our own hand at fault. This year taught me that, whether someone asked for it or not, it is better to forgive than to begrudge and it is much better to apologize than to be prideful.

4. In everything, be thankful.

If life didn't test us, we would take a lot of things for granted. When it rained for two weeks straight, I tried to remember to be thankful for umbrellas. When friendships started to fall apart, I tried to remember to be thankful for those who stuck around. It's easy to get caught up in our misfortunes and lose sight of all the wonder around us. This year taught me that if I look too closely at my own discomfort, I might just miss the blessings all around me.

5. Life is a lot like walking down the stairs in the dark.

Sometimes you will think you've made it to the last step, ready to continue on with whatever you were planning, when suddenly, the floor falls out from underneath your sure and steady foot, and you have to make another move. Other times, you may think there is one step left before finding yourself stopping on the floor, meeting it much sooner than you had planned. I walked through 2015 with my hand on the railing and my feet tip-toeing across the unfamiliar ground beneath me. This year taught me that I can't always see what is ahead of me, but that doesn't mean I should stop walking.

And lastly...

6. I am blessed beyond measure.

Throughout 2015, it was easy to be distracted with all the changes thrown my way and forget about the things that stayed constant. I have been blessed with an unshakeable support system of friends and family that will stand by me through whatever I may face. I am thankful that through trial and triumph, I know that there are many that I can turn to both for solace and celebration. This year taught me that, above everything else, that is the greatest blessing of all.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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