365 Days Later, Did I Truly Learn How To Live?
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365 Days Later, Did I Truly Learn How To Live?

A whole year later, what has changed?

365 Days Later, Did I Truly Learn How To Live?

Almost exactly one year ago today, I wrote an article titled "2018 Is The Year I Learn How To Truly Live." It was based on "I Hope You Live Life A Little Louder From This Moment On," an excerpt from Marisa Donnelly's book Somewhere on the Highway. At the time that I wrote this article, I was seeking guidance. 2017 I felt lost. I was searching for a feeling of acceptance and belonging within my majors, in my life, and in myself. I was ready for 2018 to be my year. I was confident that 2018 was going to bring me the direction I was so desperately wanting.

The most interesting part about this article is that 365 days later I haven't looked back at it once. It is a piece of work that has barely crossed my mind.

Now, of course, each year is different. You can't predict what you are going to experience. In this article, I determined that 2018 was the year to bring on new challenges, to do things that frightened you. It was to be the year of saying yes and also to say no. It was to be the year to go after what you want. I had hoped it to be the year without regrets or hesitation; the year of possibility. The year to stop second-guessing or borrowing trouble from the future. The year of joy.

So the question is, in 2018, did I live?

In 2018 there were highs. I continued exploring how to tell a story through light, and how a work can be entirely changed by the inclusion of technical elements. I had the pleasure of performing in ten different works in my spring semester. I spent a month exploring the beautiful country of Italy, which allowed me to explore my second major more than I ever have before and also brought me to a new place, a new group of people, and memories that I will forever treasure.

I choreographed a musical. A work that challenged me, allowed me to grow, provided me with the opportunity to explore a brand new area of artistry, let me tell a story that is important and needed to be heard, and brought me to a group of people that I feel very lucky to have had the change to create art with.

At the same time, I had my first piece of choreography featured in a dance concert, performed in two productions, and ran four different shows. I explored myself as an artist, created work that I was proud of, and I felt the true joy that comes with being a part of the performing arts.

2018 brought me a year of travel, opportunity, art, and exploration. But that doesn't mean that the year didn't come without lows.

For the first time, I felt what it was like to be burnt out. To need a break from this art form I have loved my entire life. This was terrifying. It was the first time in a while that I was unsure of my place in the arts. Unsure if this was where my passion still was.

I faced the struggle of being committed to a lot. 21 credits and five different productions in one semester, I was doing the work of multiple people as one individual.

I have had to accept the fact that I am a senior in college and come to terms with the truth that all good things must come to an end.

I continue to battle the struggle of self-worth. I question my abilities every single day. I wonder if I am talented enough to succeed in the professional world. I lack the confidence it takes to know that everything will fall in to place, and what is meant to happen will.

I fight with body image issues, I have faced injury, and I will continue to question myself day after day.

So yes, 2018 has brought light and brought hardship. But 365 days later, after reading my article again, I realized that living has the ups and downs. I am able to discover that living doesn't mean your life is perfect. It doesn't mean that every day is full of joy, or that you are continuously and consistently happy.

Living louder is accepting the lows and cherishing the highs. It is living in the moment, it is being excited for each and every day. It is creating memories, it is laughing, it is crying, it is surrounding yourself with people who make you feel alive, it is pursuing relationships, it is finding love and then losing it, it is learning, it is forgiving, it is speaking your mind, it is challenging others opinions, it is standing up for what you believe in, it is bringing good energy wherever you go, it is doing things that terrify you. Living louder is putting your head down on your pillow at the end of the day and not having regrets about the day, no matter the circumstances. Living louder is different for every individual. Living louder is finding yourself, and creating the life you want to live, with the ups and downs that come along the way. I leave Marisa's poem below as I did 365 days ago, and I hope whoever reads this article takes the opportunity, to live.

I hope you live louder.
I hope you laugh more. I hope you sing at the top of your lungs. I hope you drive with the windows down and let the wind rustle through your hair. I hope you hug. I hope you kiss. I hope you surround yourself with people who make you feel alive. I hope you become the type of person that brings good energy wherever you go, and the type of person people want to be around. I hope you speak what's on your mind, that you raise your voice for injustice, that you tell others that you love them, instead of waiting until it's too late. I hope you live louder, shine brighter. From this moment on.
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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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