Reflection of 2016

Reflection of 2016

The Year of Adaption
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2016, for me, was the year of adaptation. That was my “goal” or “resolution”. It proved to be way more of a transition year than I had initially intended it to be. It first started with just the fact that I was going to be transferring to a big university in January. Like most people, starting university is a big deal, and there is a lot of change. As a homebody, it was weird for me. And for the first two-quarters of university, I loathed it. I didn’t want to go back in the fall. There were a lot of different factors regarding why university, at the time, made me borderline depressed. The scariest part really was that I knew that if I kept going with my situation, I knew I would fall back into the deep, endless pit that is depression, and I wanted to fight like hell to keep out of it.

As someone who doesn’t like change, this year was hard for me. University was definitely one of them, as was the radical changes in a lot of my relationships with people.

The one thing that struck me really hard was family. All sides of my family are changing and everything I cherished as a child are now drifting away from me like sand in the wind. In April, my mother and I took advantage of my spring break and jetted to Austria to see my great grandmother (who I call Omi), because she was having a lot of health issues. Most people thought my 5 day trip to Austria was a fun spring break getaway, but it was mainly emotionally draining. The first part of the trip my mom was the crying, broken hearted mess. By the end of the trip, everything came falling down at once and I became the broken hearted, crying mess. My Omi is 95. I know that’s really old for an old person, and I am more than thankful to be able to know my great grandmother at 19 years old, but at the same time, because I am older, I truly realize how much my Omi means not only my mother, but to me as well. This woman is a living history book, she’s been through so much. Being a communications major, it was interesting for me to compare her standards to mine in certain aspects of life because we come from two very different generations. She is also one of the only family members I have left overseas, and she has done so much for my mom and my family. Not only Omi herself, but her town is changing as well. Her house is deteriorating; the neighborhood is being completely reconstructed. I couldn’t help but remanence on the memories I had in that house, that town. Everything was changing and it was a lot to take in.

My American grandparents are also changing for the worst. My grandma has lost her marbles and most of the things that come out of her mouth just infuriate me. My grandpa is hanging in there, but he is my grandmother's slave and it makes it really hard to see him or reach out to him without any of my grandmother’s tainting or input. The people and places that have helped shaped my childhood are slowly perishing away and I have had no choice but to accept it, make my amends, and move forward.

During the summer, I spent 90% of my time outdoors. I worked on a farm and as a lifeguard on a lake. Both taught me a lot and I met so many new people. The best part about meeting and interacting with new people (especially those that you end up seeing quite often) is that you will learn a lot. As a lifeguard, I became more comfortable with physical contact (something that for the most part I am uncomfortable with), because we had to practice lifeguarding techniques on each other. I became more open to meeting new people rather than just shutting them out and being my hermit-self. I was forced to do these things that made me uncomfortable, but in the end, it was beneficial.

With all emotional strains that came with the year, it has forced me also to embrace the fact that I am an overly emotional creature and that I just need to accept it and deal with it openly and straight on. I learned that it is possible ‘function properly’ without having to numb all my emotions.

Lastly, I need to adapt to our new country. But that’s something we all need to work on within the new year.

Now that I’ve had the year to adapt to a lot of changes in my life, I feel like it’s a good transition point to where 2017 is the year of (serious) change. 2016 was kind of like season 7 of Rupaul’s Drag Race: it was probably one of the worst seasons, though it had some perks in there was well, but overall it was a transition season to the new age of drag. 2017 is going to be a new age, a new dawn, and it’s time to get my shit together and start kicking ass and taking names. Not only in my personal life, but for everything else as well.

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22 New Things That I Want To Try Now That I'm 22

A bucket list for my 22nd year.

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"I don't know about you but I'm feelin' 22," I have waited 6 long years to sing that and actually be 22! Now 22 doesn't seem like a big deal to people because you can't do anything that you couldn't do before and you're still super young. But I'm determined to make my 22nd year a year filled with new adventures and new experiences. So here's to 22.

1. Go sky diving.

What's crazier than jumping out of a plane? (Although I'll probably try indoor skydiving first.)

2. Go cliff jumping/diving.

I must be the only Rhode Islander who hasn't gone to Jamestown and jumped off a cliff.

3. Ride in a hor air balloon.

Up, up and away.

4. Try out skiing.

Cash me in the next Olympics, how bout dat.

5. Try out snow boarding.

Shawn White, I'm coming for you.

6. Go bungee jumping.

Because at least this time I'll be attached to something.

7. Go to Portugal.

I mean I'm Portuguese so I have to go at some point, right?

8. Go to Cape Verde.

Once again, I'm Cape Verdean so I have to go.

9. Vist one of the seven wonders of the world.

I mean hey, Egypt's on, my bucket list.

10. Try out surfing.

It's only natural that somebody from the Ocean State knows how to surf.

11. Learn a new langauge.

Because my little bit of Portuguese, Spanish and Latin isn't cutting it anymore.

12. Travel to a state that I've never been to before.

Fun fact: I've only been to 17 of the 50 states.

13. Go paddle boarding.

Pretty boring but I've never done it.

14. Go scuba diving.

I'm from the Ocean State so I guess I should see the ocean up close and personal.

15. Learn how to line dance.

There's actually a barn in my state that does line dancing, so this one will definitely get crossed off.

16. Go kayaking.

All this water around me and I haven't done a lot of the water activites.

17. Stay the night in a haunted hotel room.

I bet if I got my friends to come with me, it would be like the Suite Life of Zach and Cody episode, minus the ghost coming out of the wall but you never know.

18. Get my palms read.

Because who doesn't want to know their future.

19. Go to a medium.

Like a medium that can communicate with people that have died.

20. Take a helicopter ride.

Air plane: check Helicopter:....

21. Sleep under the stars.

Because sleeping in a tent is more like glamping than camping

22. Just to try new things in my everyday life.

Whether it's trying a new restaurant, getting something different at my usual restaurants, changing my usual style, going on the scary rides at amusement parks, and bringing things I used to do back into my life now.

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Pride: A poem

Hell, I still love you.

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The word love

Is a very complex one;

Often times thrown around

far more often than it should be.

I knew the true meaning of love when

I first laid my eyes upon you

You were perfect.

Perfect in ways you could not even yet conceptualize.

I gave you life;

But, you became my life.

Your first word.

Your first day at school.

Moments that made life worth living.

One day you said you felt different;

You didn't feel like everyone else;

You'd felt this way for years

But this feeling was not just a feeling;

It was who you were.

The masses played with video games and played rough sports—

You didn't;

You were delicate.

Far more delicate than other boys.

You may not have played with the same toys,

But, hell, I still love you.

It only seems like yesterday,

You told me you had gone astray

From the normal social stigma

But you are still my little boy,

And, hell, I still love you.

Pride.

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