366 days. What a year it has been! Dr. Seuss once wrote (and to reuse the quote every valedictorian has used and will ever use): “Oh the places you’ll go! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so… Get on your way!” I remember hearing these words as a young adult, in the wake of my eighteenth birthday, as I sat next to my classmates and thinking of what the years ahead would bring. Would I travel? Would I go to college? What would I do for the rest of my life?
I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined what the next few years would bring. Like I said in my welcoming post here on this blog, I realized college wasn’t for me and that it is okay and nothing to be ashamed of. I soon found out that I am capable of making my biggest of dreams come true and this year alone I have done more than I ever thought would be possible.
The classmates, who sat next to me, got their diplomas, went off and did their own amazing things; many of them graduated from college this year. Where was I? Well, I wasn’t finishing college, but I was having the time of my life. I’ve been doing things that I’ve always wanted to do and I had nothing holding me back. I began writing this blog this year and I have loved every minute I’ve gotten to do this.
I say it every year, probably since I feel like my life gets better as I get older, but this year has been my absolute favorite year so far. I turned twenty in the spring, finally leaving my teenage years behind and I began my adult life with my heart full of wonder and the need for adventure. I traveled close and I traveled far. I have cried tears of sadness and tears of joy. I spent time with people who mean the most to me and I also made many new friends. I experienced so many beautiful new things and tried so many different amazing foods.
I am here to tell you that you can do it too. I’m writing this for anyone who’s ever felt lost or misplaced, to help you realize that it’s okay to not have your whole life planned. It’s okay to go after what makes you happy, even if it’s not accepted by the people around you and different from “the norm”. Go after your heart’s biggest desires, whatever that may be. Go off and make yourself as deliriously happy as you can, because no matter how cliché it is to say, life is too short to be unhappy. I’m writing this to inspire the wanderlust soul who wants to go out and see the world, but doesn’t know how. I know you can do it, if only you believe you can.
Here’s to 2016, to the moments that made my heart flutter, ache and reach for more. And here’s to 2017, may this New Year be as exciting as the year before. My hopes for the New Year are to just keep doing what I love and what makes me happy. I’m turning twenty-one, and will soon be moving to a new and exciting place. I have a lot in store and I’m really excited to share it with you all! Thank you to anyone who’s peeked into my life through this blog, to anyone who has commented, and to anyone who has shared my thoughts with others. To all my readers, this one’s for you.
Happy Holidays and a very Happy New Year!