2017 is coming to an end, and with it a year that was full of important decisions, novelties, and excitement.
I always like the time of the year when you get to do a kind of wrap up. Sure, you can’t change most things anymore. If you vowed to lose weight, get fitter, or richer and haven’t managed until now, well, chances are that those resolutions have to wait until next year to be fulfilled. But maybe it’s not always only about the big steps and situations we mastered, but it’s also in the little things. A year is a long time. Even in the worst years, there should be room for gratitude, mindfulness and care, for people, achievements and, most importantly, for ourselves. If you take some time to consider what really changed and influenced you in 2017, which things come up? How happy are you with the life you led?
With 3 days to go, it’s the perfect time for me to sum up the year with three things I am very thankful for this past year.
- Fulfilling relationships – My relationships have changed quite a bit in the last year. While it was already in 2016 that me and my boyfriend got together, it was this past year that really showed the depth of what we can become and be for each other. Steps along the way were first holidays, the first little discussions and of course, the decision to move in together, followed by long trips to furniture shops and discussions on mostly not-so-important mini decisions. It’s always said that moving in with someone is a huge step, but if you feel really comfortable with it, actually, it’s just the most logical thing to do. With me moving further away from my family, this relationship has deepened as well. Yes, we spend less time together, but the weekends we do have with each other are filled with quality time and love. The greater distance just amplified the awareness of how much we like spending our time together. Finally, the third important block of relationships, friends, has experienced some changes too. Some friends of the past years have completely fallen away with repeated promises of dates that were never fulfilled (from both sides) and the intentions of keeping the friendship alive fading. Of course, this can be sad at times, but actually I tend to view it in a different light. Less time with people who don’t appreciate me, just means more time on my hands for people I truly love and feel comfortable around. The lesson for me might be this: As we move on with our lives, sometimes people will fall away. But the truly important ones never will. Some are just not meant to stay forever, the ones who are, however, undoubtedly will never leave your side. (and thankfully I have some of those in my life too!)
- Steps in a new direction – looking around I might be one of few people my age who have not yet quite figured out what she wants to do with her life. I am no longer stressed by this and I won’t pretend anymore that I am in control of everything. I’m not and that’s fine. Now the task is to do what I love, to figure things out, to try new opportunities. One was this blog. It gives me a chance to explore more fields of interest and deepen my knowledge in various areas. Another one was the Schulpraktikum, seeing once again the path that I once considered right for me. Trial and error. Opportunities will always come along, stressing over decisions that are not now to make is useless. The lesson for me might be this: No matter where you are in life, you can always go your way. It is okay to not have planned the next twenty years, as long as you know that you can rely on your competence and ability to live happily. The point of the ride is the ride.
- An awareness for me – since I have done my Erasmus in 2015 my awareness for myself has risen incessantly. I know much more what I want, who I want, how I want things to be done. I am changing and improving, constantly, and working on continuing to do so daily (or nearly daily, at least). Getting stronger and healthier, mentally and bodily, is a way of living and I am very proud of having managed to stay on track with it the past year. Ultimately, this point is closely connected to the other two — by being much more at ease with myself, my relationships and life have improved and eventually my future will improve too. The lesson for me might be this: I am always first. Only if I take care of myself can I take care of the people important to me too. I will not be influenced by the stressful and fearful approach of other people towards life.
Life, in 2017, was treating me great. I can’t wait for 2018 and the adventures, chances and people it will bring my way. After an amazing year I am ready for an even better one. Bring it on!