New Year’s reflections

From my journal, dated January 1st 2013

It’s been one year since I began this journal. And though I don’t feel different from myself yesterday, I do feel like I have changed a fair amount in the past year. I use the word very hesitantly, but in many ways, I have grown-up.

In many ways though, I wish I was back in Grade 12, living at home. I was more carefree and the world seemed to hold infinite possibilities; the future was waiting to be created. I feel a bit more confined now, as if I have tasted the fruit of adulthood (and independence) and have discovered it isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. The world is so large and each of us, so small.

Though I was sometimes (if not often?) unhappy, unsatisfied, and lonely, the past year contained some of what I consider to be the best days of my life so far. Prom + Grad are at the top, which would have surprised me a year ago. They were a blast, and staying up all night and eating at Lily’s diner at 4 a.m. with Stephanie are some of the highlights. Even the Saint Johns’ Grad was really fun (though it led to the awkward Caleb situation). Speaking of him, that weekend in W-town was also lots of fun (I don’t know if I mentioned it?). It’s hard to believe that my parents let me go up to W-town with strangers (to them) for a house party / co-ed sleepover.

And even earlier than that in the year was my trip to Ecuador. That was an adventure: staying in a cement room with Callie at our homestay, working hard on our service project, walking through the rural streets, and at the end of the trip, swimming on the coast with the most monstrously beautiful waves I have ever seen up close.

I remember 3 things from the summer: my sailing trip, my knee surgery + recovery, and our cross-country road trip. What I did the rest of the days, I don’t remember (maybe reading, cycling, playing cards?). The road trip in particular, I’ll remember as some of the best days of my life. Camping with my parents, seeing the countryside, exploring, and playing Gameboy, all while feeling that we were going somewhere, that our actions had a tangible purpose, a goal, namely to arrive in O-town for university.

My time at university is still quite fresh in my mind, so I needn’t recall it here. Though I know I had good times there, the general negative feelings persist and overpower the good. It definitely makes me question my decision to go to O-town. Something I haven’t told anyone is that my pro-con list, my U of S vs. U of O list, came out in favor of U of S. That haunts me a bit. But everyone, and by everyone I mean my parents and I, were talking a lot about “If” I moved O-town… and we began picturing it. And everyone made O-town seem like a bit more of a socially-acceptable choice (not quite the right words, but I hope you got my meaning). I often wonder if I made the easy decision, and therefore, not necessarily the right one.

But, maybe, sometimes there aren’t any right choices.

Anyways, I will try to be optimistic about the New Year. I’m currently in Dusseldorf, Germany and we celebrated last night with our relatives Uli + Franz and more old German people. The fireworks from the whole neighborhood were amazing. On an optimistic note, here are some things I’m looking forward to in 2013:

  • learning new things (sounds cheesy, but my courses for the next semester sound really interesting)
  • seeing some recent movie releases including the Life of Pi, The Hobbit, and The Great Gatsby
  • maybe get accepted for a Parliamentary internship
  • hopefully volunteering on a tall ship again
  • maybe going on an epic road trip down to California to pick up Stephanie from school
  • reuniting with Stephanie
  • being home again and all the usual comfortable routines that come along with it (playing cards, eating sushi in front of the TV with my family, biking everywhere, etc.)
  • endless possibilities and daydreams

Though history has a tendency to repeat itself, I am once again hopeful and have hope to make strong new friendships, meet the guy of my dreams, and find my place in the world. One can dream, eh?

Perhaps you’re wondering about whether I have any New Year’s resolutions. Not really: I never make any official ones. But I really want to make an effort to be more selfless and caring. Not only will I be able to help others more, but I will hopefully this way be able to get out of my own head for a while and stop agonizing over my own problems.

Now a seventeen-year-old me would make a resolution to be more social + outgoing, but I have realized that I am by nature introvert and that’s just who I am. I will however, make an effort to stop and say hi to people, ask them how they’re doing (which goes along with my resolution above) and I will continue to participate in lots of events, activities, and clubs.

I feel like I fell into a bit of a divet during the past few months, but now I’m going to do my best to come back strong: to build my self-confidence. The road ahead looks lonely and scary and most of all uncomfortable and out of my comfort zone. But the only way, is through, and I will keep on keeping on.

Here’s to a fresh start.

All grown up and nowhere near it.

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