“There are some things you don’t know yet. Your life will be a great and continuous unfolding.” -Dear Sugar; The Rumpus
Well, 2012 has come and gone and now it’s time to welcome 2013! Whether I am celebrating the New Year in Chiang Mai, Thailand, Cleveland, Ohio, or Istanbul, Turkey (maybe one day?) the transition from one year to another always leaves me feeling reflective; as I am sure it does for many. I find myself looking back, paying close attention to where I was at the same time at the end/beginning of the previous year. It’s interesting, and I may argue necessary, to look back through a year and see what leaves you feeling different or the same. Even though I am relatively young, and hopefully have many years ahead of me, I know that 2012 was unique, it marked the end of my college career and ushered me, without pause, into adult life.
Basically, 2012 was a really important year in my life. I know that every year has events and realizations that influence one’s growth and may alter the way they see and approach the world. I am not trying to say that ever year isn’t filled with great memories and important moments. But, despite this, I cannot stop thinking about the importance of this past year. Perhaps I am getting caught up in the symbolism of it all; that the year was almost evenly split between the end of my Wooster career, where I completed I.S., celebrated I.S. Monday, and graduated, while the other half of the year was dedicated entirely to the beginning of my adult life, which began with a move halfway across the world. In the first half of my year, I was sentimental, not wanting to leave Wooster and the family I had created there. The second half was filled with new challenges, and new people. I became a teacher, rode elephants, scuba dived, jumped off of cliffs into the ocean, was blessed by monks, visited ancient temples, and spent six months exploring and being immersed in this beautiful country and culture.
I have always thought that my decision to live and teach in Thailand would, in a way, set the tone for the rest of my life. I took this opportunity and it has been incredible; I have seen things that I never thought I would see and experienced things that I never thought I would experience. I have felt so invigorated this year, and I have been lucky to find passions and experiences that allow me to feel this way.
This is not to say that this year has been without struggle. I have had worries; mostly about where I will find myself after Thailand. And, some days these worries get the best of me. But, mostly I have been filled with this sense of peace that everything will work itself out. I am not sure when I, the queen of the control freaks, became so comfortable with the serendipity of the universe. But, a wise relative once told me that the most successful people in life are the ones who follow their passions and turn them into careers.
And I have found that to be absolutely true. Because, even though I am not wealthy or in any sort of position of power, I consider myself to be extremely happy, and I consider that a success.
For the past year, I have been focused on my passions, what I want the most of out this life. I was passionate in my last months at Wooster and I have been following my passions in Thailand. Mistakes have been made, I make no such claims that I am perfect, but I have had no regrets. And really, that’s all that matters: to find what makes you happy and having no qualms about doing exactly that.
So, that’s what I learned last year. And I feel ridiculously lucky to have figured this all out at the ripe old age of twenty-two. Now, I just have to stick to it. Easy peasy, right?
Hardly. But, I’ll do my best for sure.