Updated: Nov 8, 2020
An ode to the year I wish I had...
"I thought this year was going to be different…"
I'm sure you have caught yourself saying these three phrases in your mind over and over again this past year. I'm right there with you. I thought this year was going to be filled with excitement, back-to-back opportunities, growth, and progressive change! To be honest, it's been filled with all of these things, but not in the way I imagined.
This post is an ode to the year I wish I had, but it's also a thank you letter to the year I have had.
One of my favorite things to do is to go for a walk around sunset. The sun waves goodbye, and it's a beautiful sign that we made it through the day. A few weeks ago I went on a walk and saw this glorious view. The water was so peaceful and the waves sounded like a gentle stream. Although it was a calming experience, I couldn't help but think about how disruptive this past year has been.
2020 has felt like the longest year in history, yet I still can't believe it's already November. We've all been affected by the global pandemic. We were all forced to create a new way of life. We are glued to screens - phones, laptops, TVs, tablets, etc. - 24/7. Our days have become stitched together with the mundanity of a virtual way of life.
If you asked me how I felt about online school a few months ago, I'd say I loved it. I love the freedom and autonomy that online learning offers. I love creating my own schedule. I love having the liberty to fail and learn at my own pace. I love figuring out new material by myself. Well, fast forward eight months later, I'm struggling. I'm working my butt off in courses that I didn't think would've challenged me as much as they have. I'm struggling to fight my itching 'senioritis.' I'm struggling to keep my homework, work, and organization dates in line. It's been a lot to juggle.
However, I think the most challenging part about this year (personally) has been facing the number of resolutions I have broken.
Every year, I make a list of resolutions on December 31st. Yes, I know resolutions can begin at any time of the year. It's just that creating new goals/resolutions comes more fluidly to me when done at a consistent time - hence, the new year. Well, this year, I found myself even more ambitious than the last.
I was excited and pumped to take on my first year in my 20s. "Look out, world. Liana is here, and she's going to take you on by storm." I felt confident and strong. I felt sure and hungry for change and growth. I was ready to take on whatever life threw at me. Well, I had no idea what was coming.
I won't get into what my actual resolutions were, but I'll say this - half of my resolutions involved traveling, volunteering, going to professional development conventions, and physically going out and making a change in my community. Due to COVID-19, all of these things were thrown out the window.
All of this change has hit me harder than I'd like to admit. I am a big planner, and I continuously think about the future. I understand that certainty is an ideology of comfort and that nothing is ever truly set in stone or guaranteed. However, I didn't fully embrace the reality of uncertainty until the pandemic hit. I'm nearing the end of my first semester of my senior year, and I don't know what will come in the spring or after. Sure, I have a general idea of the career I'd like to step in and that I'd like to stay in the DFW area, but aside from that, I'm still building a better understanding of what I want in life. What is my next move? What are my new goals? What will help me grow? Who will be in my life then? - the list of questions is endless.
...a thank you letter to year I have had
As 2020 is coming to a close, I wanted to reflect on what has happened this far. This past summer was the most productive one I've ever had. I took four classes, had my second internship (it was virtual), networked and created events for my business fraternity, shared my poetry online for a short time, and I started this blog! I also grew closer with some of the most amazing friends on the planet!
2020 wasn't anything we expected it to be, and I'm still trying to find closure in the chaos we've all endured. I'm a little confused, stressed, and even anxious about where I'm at in life right now. Despite the hodgepodge of feelings and discomfort, I have grown as an individual, and that's all that matters. This year has served as a HUGE pause button in my life. I have felt encouraged to take my time and let myself be confused and unsure about what I'm doing.
This pause in time has let me explore and deal with things internally that I would have otherwise continued to push away. I have BIG dreams, and I have every intention to start chasing them now. Work/school from home has allowed me to let my imagination run wild and develop ideas about business ventures I want to pursue or creative outlets I want to explore and share with people around me.
Life isn't ever going to "make sense." Sense is what you make of the situations you're in. Despite living in uncertain times, I'm sure that we'll move on to see brighter days. Until then, I hope you can learn to embrace your broken resolutions and forgive yourself for not meeting your past self's expectations. We're all learning and growing in different ways, and it's essential to recognize that changing your plans is always part of the process. So yes, I have broken many of my resolutions, and yes, I'm nowhere near where I thought I'd be at this point in life. But, I believe I'm where I need to be for the time being, and I hope you feel the same way too.