I’m not going to lie… 2015 wasn’t my most favorite year. I came in with very specific goals in the beginning that were changed around completely and left me feeling frustrated, unaccomplished, and confused. I also went through very dark times where I couldn’t even keep myself in check, and I struggled a lot emotionally.
I do feel as though I learned many life lessons during this year, and I would like to share some of them with you.
1. A Little Spontaneity Never Hurt Nobody: I learned this during my study abroad experience this summer. Whether it was planning a last-minute trip to Denmark or getting on stage in The Netherlands to sing with a band, my best memories during the trip came from making “in-the-moment” decisions.
Moreover, I actually started boxing a few months ago. I know, nobody would have ever thought they’d see me with gloves on, but I actually love it!! I’d say I would try it for a month to see how it went, and I stayed for the rest of the semester. I never would have known I would come to like the sport so much if I hadn’t decided to try it in the first place.
Make it your 2016 New Year’s Resolution to try several things you’ve never tried before . What do you have to lose? If it doesn’t go as planned, then at least you tried and/or learned something different. Life is too short to not live it on the edge every once in a while.
2. Learn to Adapt: If you’re like me, you probably have your whole life sketched in a movie inside your brain. You think things are supposed to go a certain way, because they’ve always gone that way. But when things don’t work out “perfectly”, you panic or as we like to say in Puerto Rico, te vuelves un ocho.
This year, I set the ultimate goal for myself to get admitted into the best law school I could. However, when things didn’t go as planned, and other options I could choose to do after graduation started to interest me, I lost it. See, I thought I was supposed to go to law school right after college because that’s what I’d always told myself I would do. It was so hard for me to wrap around my mind that I could choose to do other things before entering law school because, well… nothing is set in stone.
Change is inevitable; everyone knows that. But it’s important to realize that it doesn’t necessarily have to be external. Sometimes change happens within yourself, and you have to be ready to accept it and make peace with it. Know how and when to tweak the movie in your head to allow for a plot twist (hey, everyone loves plot twists). Nobody’s life is ever fully figured out and if you truly want to be successful, you’ll have to know how to adapt to everything and anything life throws at you.
3. Pain Isn’t Forever. Support Is Everything: I remember feeling alone and in the dumps a few months ago. Anxiety had taken the best of me and had left me a hot mess. It was hard because the battle wasn’t against someone else; it was against myself. I was my own biggest enemy and ally. Controlling myself from myself was perhaps my toughest daily challenge for the past months.
With so many people suffering from emotional issues for long periods of time, I wondered if it would be the same case for myself. I felt helpless and uncontrollable. Lucky for me, I had incredible people by my side who supported me through it all. Though at times I just wanted to be alone, it meant so much to know that I was a call or text away from people who love and care for me deeply. The love and support from those of you who took the time to text, call, message, and/or even pray for me really made a difference in my recovery. I’m also thankful for the resources my school provided for me, and I urge any of you to seek help if you are or ever happen to be in a state similar to the one I went through.
As you can tell, I am MUCH better now than I was before. Pain isn’t forever, my friends. Trust me, there comes a point where getting better seems SO distant, but if you truly want to move forward, you will. There is a saying in Spanish that goes, No hay mal que dure cien años ni cuerpo que lo resista. There is no evil that can last one-hundred years or a body that can resist it would be the English translation. Know that whatever you are going through will pass. Don’t lose hope; freedom and happiness are waiting for you around the corner.
4. You’ll Find Your Way: Mid-year, I felt as though my life’s GPS kept re-rerouting every five minutes. What am I supposed to do? Where am I supposed to go? Is this the right decision? … It was terrible feeling internally lost. But I later learned it was okay. It’s okay if we want to detour from our original plans or even change them entirely. It’s okay if things don’t go as expected, and it’s okay to feel lost.
Now that I see how everything is panning out, I’m so thankful for all the “re-routing” that happened this year. In the end, I know these unexpected opportunities/blessings in disguise will only further my personal growth and career success. Everything is and will be for the best.
Okay, okay… I can’t complain. This year wasn’t entirely terrible. I got to travel to 10 different countries during my study abroad where I learned so much and met amazing people. I accepted a bangin’ job offer in New York City where I’ll also be traveling to Switzerland. I’ve gotten closer to several friends and made new ones as well. I also feel I’ve grown up and gotten a whole lot stronger (it’s probably the boxing 😉 )
But above all of these things, I sincerely think that my biggest blessing in 2015 was this blog. I started it one night when I couldn’t sleep and thought I would be lucky enough if I got a couple hundred views. As you can see below, I got almost 4,000 views and almost 2,000 unique visitors… Beyond what I ever imagined.
I also can’t believe I was viewed in so many countries around the world!!
It was tough letting everyone in and putting myself in a vulnerable spot, but all of your reactions and responses served as a fuel to continue with this crazy hobby of mine. It has meant SO much to have received so many messages from people telling me how much they could relate with my words, especially with my post on How Anxiety Has Changed Me, which I came close to not even publishing.
I just can’t emphasize enough how much of a role all of you played with this blog and even with my personal life ever since I started this. You all let me know I wasn’t the only one going through the same situation and offered words of encouragement, hope, and strength when I needed it the most.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for letting my words travel to places, to hearts, and to minds. Though small, I feel and know I’ve made a difference this year.
2016 is sure to come with even more adventures, learning opportunities, and amazing experiences, and I hope you’ll follow me into the new year to live it all with me.
God bless ahora y siempre,