2016 was a peculiar sort of year for me. It was a year of many firsts and in many ways, the year I really became an adult.
For the first time in my life I travelled the world. It felt very different from my solo trip to Israel 4 years ago where many details of my trip had already been structured out for me. This time, my friend and I planned the entire trip ourselves and boy was it an experience. I learned there truly is something to be gained from breaking routine and immersing yourself in other sounds, smells, colours, tastes, and people. For the first time in a long time I danced, madly, and came one step closer to rediscovering the me I’d abandoned almost 4 years ago. I met so many awesome people too. I was once again reminded the world is dynamic and colorful and alive and big and I should be committed to knowing all of it. Travelling somewhere, anywhere, at least once a year is something I’m committed to doing and I’m looking forward to it.
For the first time in my life I looked for work in earnest. It was not a walk in park and in some ways I underestimated how much this decision would impact my life going forward. It was especially difficult given that the people I thought would support me, didn’t really. There were days I was so depressed I wouldn’t leave my bed. Most of the process was me figuring out what I even wanted to do. Then I realized, whatever you want, ask. And ask BIG. Even if you’re not sure, say you’re not sure and you’ll find people willing to help. For the first time in my life, I asserted what I wanted, not what my parents wanted, not what my professors wanted, not what my friends wanted, not what my partner wanted, but what I wanted. And despite everything I lost as a result, in some ways because of all I lost, it was absolutely worth it.
For the first time in my life, I reassessed what I thought love and a relationship should look like. I realized being in a relationship isn’t necessarily playing a new part as ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’. But rather preserving and making something more of the special connection you already share. It requires mutual growth and effort, but not too much effort, cause that could mean the other person isn’t doing their part. When either partner neglects to nourish the relationship with respect, trust, and honesty, it dies.
To quote Anaïs Nin:
Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of weatherings, of tarnishings.
In short, in 2016 I resolved to know three things over the course of my life:
To know myself – to understand how I think, to know what I value, to realize my limits so I can surpass them, to know what I expect of myself, and to remember to re-calibrate, everyday.
To know you – “you” meaning the individual on the other side of the table – family, friends, and any person I personally meet professionally and otherwise. To know what you are, who you are, and who you’d like to be. Because everyone is simply complex, and deserves to be constantly discovered, explored, and loved.
To know the world – to travel, to dance, to sing, to write, to live as fully as I can. To enjoy a bit of frivolity with my tea every morning. To become more playful, not less, with age. To make definitive, positive, and whenever I can, life-changing, impacts in all my relationships.
Yesterday, sitting on the roof in the crisp winter night, watching meteors (shooting stars) with someone I’m learning to know, I silently ruminated on all I learned last year and how in many ways, this year is one of new beginnings.