Final Reflections: 2015

2015 was a very intense year for me. I made a lot of monumental decisions, thrust myself into a completely new world by choosing to attend the University of Michigan, and endured many challenges both within and outside of the personal sphere. Although I love the fresh opportunity that the shift of a calendar year brings, I am a strong believer that each and every day is a chance to work on becoming the person that you want to be. As humans, not a single one of us can automatically start living the way we want to and accomplishing every one of our goals on a daily basis simply because we moved from one year to the next. We make mistakes, we procrastinate, and we fall back into the routine of simply existing rather than chasing a meaningful life. Each day (and any time within each day) we have the capability to restart and work to make the changes that we want, to follow our dreams and act on our passions. However, I see the significance in reflection (often, but specifically at the end of a year) and setting goals that we want to implement in the next. 

A lot of things happened in my life within 2015 and the following are some of the highlights (in no particular order, technically...):

Went to a Gary Synder reading at White Lotus Farms and met the man himself (this is probably first because I have yet to recover from my excitement - I also had the best slice of pizza ever at this reading which I think is worth mentioning)

Committed to the University of Michigan

Graduated high school and gave my Salutatorian speech without fainting

Successfully completed my first semester of college

Survived Statistics 250 (and now it is probably safe to say that I am done with "complicated" math forever - or at least for a long while) 

Saw several of my favorite bands live 
-Dr. Dog at the House of Blues in Chicago
-The Growlers at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor
-The Avett Brothers at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor
-Mac DeMarco and Alex Calder at The Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac 

Started this blog 

Submitted one of my poems to a literary magazine for the first time 

There are also a lot of things that I learned this year (of which I could and might talk about in detail in the future, but will just briefly life the top three for now):

It is extremely important to take care of yourself. A wise teacher from my high school reminded us many times that: "You are the only person who is going to be with you 100% of the time." Taking that seriously is vital and it is completely okay to walk away from people and situations that are unhealthy.

Happiness is a pursuit. The world wants us to believe (through media representations, specifically movies) that if we just buy one more thing or accomplish a cherished goal we will reach ultimate happiness and our worries will just dissolve or at the very least greatly simplify. However, no matter how many things we buy or goals we accomplish, happiness is something we keep striving for. Challenges are a part of life that will always be there and it is important to recognize that and use those challenges as fuel for growth. 

You don't need to change who you are for anyone. This is something I have learned many times before and am constantly reminded of. People may try to change you, especially if you stand out in some way, but it is important to hold on to who you are in those circumstances. 

Looking forward, I have high hopes for 2016 and do have goals that I plan to focus on within it. 
They are:

Be more intentional with social media. As an individual who wants to go into media and publishing, I want to successfully use these outlets (specifically Instagram) as a way to grow rather than as a way to waste time. This is something I have been trying to do, but want to focus on more. 

Blog more. Simple as that. 

Spend more time writing creatively. I want to explore the realm of poetry more than I have in the past. 

Continue to fight my battle with procrastination. 

I hope everyone takes some time to reflect on the past year and has a wonderful 2016!