2018, you were not what anyone expected.
This year has arguably been one of the most challenging years in awhile, not just for me, but for everyone else. It's been a year of obstacles, heartaches, losses, pain, and much more.
When 2018 started, I was a completely different person. I envisioned that this would be "my year," and that I would fit more pieces to my puzzle. I was surrounded by a different group of people, with different hopes and dreams, different plans, everything was just different. Now when I look back, I can easily say that this most definitely was not my year, nor was it anyone else's year. While I was able to accomplish multiple things that I never expected, there were a lot of changes that have now shaped the person who is sitting here writing this, and some of these changes were not easy to undergo.
2018, you were the year where I discovered the people in my life that did and didn't have my back. You made me realize that I had to let go of some friendships and relationships that ended up being toxic to my life, but were still nonetheless difficult to let go of, because of all of the memories that were still there. Because of this, you made me build my walls up a tiny bit higher than they already were from before, because you made me doubt myself when trying to trust who and who not to let into my life.
You were also the year where I discovered deep secrets about myself that I had been choosing to neglect for years. 2018, you were the year where I realized that I was struggling with depression and an eating disorder, where some days I simply didn't feel like I was walking in my own skin or shoes. It was a year full of questioning everything that I was doing, as well as doubting my abilities, which had gotten to certain points where I would lose motivation to do some of the things that I loved, including writing. I had extremely high hopes at the beginning of this year that I would eventually discover myself, my passions, my interests, my goals, and everything significant in my life, but instead, I felt even more stuck with where I am. And because of this, I ultimately let my struggles and failures define me, as well as get in the way of the things that made me happy.
2018, you weren't only a struggle just for me, but also for everyone else. We've lost incredible people along the way, such as Mac Miller, Avicii, Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, and many more who should not have left this soon. This was the year of the Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting, the Thousand Oaks bar shooting, the Santa Fe High School shooting, the Parkland shooting, Hurricane Florence, the California Wildfires, and way too many more deathly incidents to count.
But 2018, while you were awful about 85% of the time, we can't forget some of your good moments.
We have had many successes this year, some even being groundbreaking and history-making. 2018 was when the first Muslim and Native-American women were elected into Congress in the midterm elections, the criminal justice bill was finally passed, and so on. We need to see more of this change in 2019, and I hope that this trend will continue.
While I had to remove some important people out of my life this year, I've also made even stronger relationships with new people I had never expected to come into my life, and who have since left a large impact on my life. I've taken on bigger responsibilities involving my work and my passions, and through these I've discovered that sometimes your interests will change. I've learned that sometimes opening up to others and addressing the issue is the key to recovery, which I've been able to do through therapy and my supportive friends and family.
But most importantly, I've learned from 2018 that each day is a brand new day for new opportunities, goals, and accomplishments, and that dwelling on the past will get you nowhere.
My goal for 2019 is to maintain this mindset as often as possible, and to not let my past struggles and weaknesses define my character. I want this new year to be a year of change, self-acceptance, self-discovery, accomplishments, peace, integrity, strength, and much more. And hopefully, after all of the lessons I've learned over the past 12 months, I can walk into the new year with a steadier head on my shoulders and be able to achieve all of these.
So thank you 2018 for providing me with some of the hardest experiences that I, as well as the rest of us, have had to endure and go through. You definitely will not be missed, but you deserve some credit for making me the person who I am today.
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