1. Spending alone time
Inspired by one of my best friends, I wanted to become comfortable with the idea of being by myself. I had terrible separation anxiety; I’d lose my mind when someone would leave for just a few minutes. To get food. In the cafeteria. And I could see them. I may be being a little dramatic (just maybe) but it made me extremely uncomfortable to be alone. I was so amazed by my friend as she would go to parties by herself without a second thought, and with her graduating I realized I needed to start being more independent. Instead of asking people to come with me to everything, errands and all, I would start doing them alone, and sure enough, it got to be my preferred way of going about my day. There is something so liberating about being alright with yourself enough to be alone, and was really the foundation to my happiness this year, and all the things I listed above could not have been possible without this change.
I come from a town where there is nothing but town centers and tract homes, so when I came to the glorious urban playground that is Richmond, I was in shock and in heaven all at once. Every corner has a different restaurant or art piece and I’m surprised no matter how many times I go down the same road. Everything from the brunch spots to the homeless people add to its unique charm, and I’ve never felt more free than when I go on runs before class and end up and some random museum.
Being able to get a college education is something for which I am incredibly thankful, but I am one of those people who is curious about everything and constantly find myself lost in a deep Wikipedia wormhole. I’m a Gemini after all: we’ve been said to be the “jack of all trades, master of none.” Initially offended by this, I’ve been proven time and time again that all the silly little tidbits I’ve learned along the way have had a time and place. Plus, the details really aren’t my kind of thing anyway if I’m not passionate about it, which that is totally fine with me.
4. Meeting people
In this case, meeting the people I’ve known all over again. I am a firm believer that no one is defined by their past, and there is always a chance to redefine your life on your own terms, and that includes your relationships with everyone in your life. The amount someone can change in a year is always shocking to me, and it is refreshing to see that more and more people embrace change (one of the best things about my generation). Of course, there will always be people who care too much, but you can only continue to show love and hope that it rubs off on them. A great tip I use for this is to find at least one thing you appreciate about every person you talk to; whether you tell them or not is up to you, but admiration can be contagious, and we all could use a little more love.
5. Loving great food
I’ve always loved food, but I’ve always had a complicated relationship with eating, so this year I made it a point to stop setting strict restrictions on my diet, and instead to eat real, unprocessed foods as much as possible to give me leeway if I wanted to indulge; however, my main goal was to never make myself feel guilty about what I ate, and if I ever tripped up, to remember that there is always another day to do better. And truly, my goal was to love myself and guilt trips are no kin to love.