Looking at a lot of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posts of the past few weeks or so, I’ve seen a lot of commentary from people recapping what 2016 was like for them. I’ve seen a lot of my social media friends comment on their triumphs, their failures, their astounding accomplishments, and their unexpected blessings. I’ve found a lot of these posts to be inspiring and revealing (because most of the time I had no clue what people were going through), but most of all, they had me trying to reflect on my own experiences in 2016. Although reflection is imperative, important, and healthy, I don’t want to keep dwelling on the past year too much. I want to look forward, and move forward, and even though I don’t have a concrete set of outlandish things I want to do in 2017, or some tremendous life changing event that I want to happen, there are a few things I’m looking forward to. And these are, by no means, new year’s resolutions because I feel like it’s probably more likely that I won’t do them if I try to stick to them so strictly, but most these things are adventures and experiences that I will have no choice encountering at this point, but I’m so excited to take them on in this new year. Here’s a few things I’m looking forward to:
1) Writing more, and better.
This past year I really wanted to take a chance and push myself outside of my comfort zone with my writing, and most importantly, to write for me. That’s why I started writing for Odyssey, but I know that this writing journey is just beginning. I’m looking forward to writing more, and writing better. No more (constantly) whipping something up within a few minutes or a few hours. I’m dedicated to producing more quality writing that I can always say that I’m proud of, no matter if it’s fun writing for the Odyssey, an essay assignment, or whatever it may be.
2) Cooking more, and better.
This past semester I started working for Log Lunch, the environmental sustainability lunch at Williams, that cooks all vegetarian and vegan food, and it was honestly one of the best decisions I’ve made recently. I absolutely love working there and being able to help cook such good, healthy food. I’ve been on a weird binge of watching a lot of vegan and vegetarian recipe videos on YouTube because of it, so I’m excited to possibly try my hand at making something completely on my own, and working toward making more healthy foods that I can build into my daily diet and lifestyle.
3) Living in a new country.
This is pretty big. I’m going abroad to Chile next month and I honestly have no clue what to expect. Living in a completely different country for about five months will definitely be a challenge since it's something I've never done before, and I’m definitely nervous, but most of all I'm just curious for what is to come.
4) Exploring career options.
I’m going to be a senior in college in September, so 2017 is going to bring a lot life decisions and potentially difficult crossroads. I’m going to have to decide what I eventually want to do with my life after undergrad, and the way things are looking right now, I’m probably going to have some difficulty with these 2017 decisions. This is definitely not something I’m too excited for, but I know that I will make a decision eventually and I know I’m going to do amazing thing no matter what career path I choose.
5) Strengthening my relationship with God.
This is something I’m especially looking forward to in 2017. I’ve never really considered myself a really religious person, but I am very spiritual and I was raised in a Christian home. I had a pretty difficult first half of 2016, and I found it really hard to maintain my faith during times where I felt like nothing would ever get better, but I know I wouldn’t have made it through the year without God in my life. I’m looking forward to restoring my relationship with Him, and working hard to ensure that my faith becomes an even bigger part of my everyday life.
6) Continuing my year of yes, and working on making it into a lifestyle.
I definitely want to write more about my experiences with my “Year of Yes” (in the spirit of Shonda Rhimes's nonfiction novel of the same title), but most of all in 2017 I want to work toward building the mentality of a “Life of Yes.” I know that sounds incredibly cheesy, but saying "yes" to things that normally I would say "no" to because I was too scared, or too uncomfortable, or whatever, has truly changed my life. I’ve had so many experiences thus far because of it, some amazing and some lessons that had to be learned, but most of all, I know that I don’t want this mentality to end. I want 2017, and 2018, and every year after that to be a year where I push myself out of comfort zone, in many aspects of my life, so I can be the most happy and the absolute best I can be.
So cheers to 2017. I have no crazy imaginations or hopes for what it will bring, but I know it will be great no matter what, and I can’t wait for what’s in store, no matter what it may be.