This post is going up a little late (by a little, I mean 10 days late. I am a bad blogger). But if I’m being honest, life has been busy now that I’m back in school, and also I just haven’t been in a writing mood much this week. But I’ve finally gotten around to editing this post, and I hope you enjoy it!
January 4th, 2019.
Today is kind of like my own personal New Year, because it marks one year since I made the biggest decision that lead me on a path that was unknown, but the best path I could have ever found myself on. On this day last year I was nothing but a girl with a few suitcases, a lot of wonder, and a little bit of fear. A girl who had spent more than the last year wondering and dreaming about the life she was finally about to experience. I look at that girl now and I sort of feel like I don’t know her. But in the best way.
2018 was without a doubt my favourite year. I experienced so much and I grew into somebody I am extremely proud of. I got to know myself better than ever, and I welcomed so much more love into my life. For these things, I don’t really know whether I should credit 2018 for being the best year of my life, or Toronto for giving me more than I could have imagined. So instead, I’m going to credit myself.
I could have decided to spend my 2018 in my comfort zone. I could have shoved my dreams and curiosities into the back of my mind for a little longer. I could have spent my year feeling content, but not fully satisfied with where I was.
I’m taking credit for my experiences in 2018. Instead of thanking 2018 for being the year that I felt the most like myself, and the year that I know I will look back on as a pivotal time in my life, I’m thanking myself. And instead of thanking Toronto for introducing me to new places and people, and for both challenging and inspiring me, I’m thanking myself. I’m thanking myself for pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone. I’m thanking myself for putting myself out there and using the opportunity to meet new people, while letting them get to know me as the truest version of myself. I’m thanking myself for not being afraid of being alone, but for instead using my solitude to grow stronger as an individual and in my relationship with myself. I’m thanking myself for learning from and listening to myself. For learning that I can change my mind and change it again, and that the chaos in my mind is not something to be ashamed of. For learning that I am not less because I am lost. For learning to look at the unclarity in my hypothetical crystal ball as beauty.
Looking back at the highlight reel of 2018, I am feeling incredibly lucky and grateful. I feel lucky for having the privilege that allowed me the opportunity to put my education on hold so that I could do something for myself. I feel grateful for the days spent alone, wandering aimlessly around a city that didn’t yet feel like home. Grateful for the feelings of defeat and inadequacy and confusion. Grateful for the experiences, the lessons learned, and the shifts in perspective brought on by them. Grateful for the new faces whom I simply shared a smile with on the busy streets, and for the ones that quickly became soulmates.
I feel grateful for the experiences that I’ve had over the past year that make me look back and wonder if it was all even real. Now that I’m back in Saskatoon, cooped up in a familiar coffee shop, it all sort of feels like it was a dream. A beautiful, wonderful dream. A dream full of adventure, laughter, the sweetest souls, late nights, lonely days, days filled with love, mistakes made, lessons learned, pain, heartbreak, and above all – happiness.
Writing this feels a little bit like I’m writing the epilogue to the best novel I’ve ever written. It’s a couple months after the last chapter ended, and now I’m sitting here, thinking about how I feel now that the dust has settled. I almost feel like I don’t want to hit the “publish” button, because that means I’ve posted the last journal entry of 2018. I’ve had a hard time closing the book on 2018. It’s like I know I’ve already read the last page, but I can’t quite bring myself to turn it over and put it on the shelf next to my other 22 books. Letting go of things that were so good to you is incredibly difficult, especially if you’re like me and you literally bathe in nostalgia in your free time. I know that I don’t have to fully let go, but I do need to let myself move on to new, and also wonderful, experiences if I want to continue to be happy and to be the person that I spent the past year growing into.
It’s so fun to think back on the version of myself that I knew at this time last year. I had no idea what would happen over the course of the year, or where I would end up both physically and mentally at the end of the year. And I’ve learned to see the beauty in that. As I enter into 2019, my year has a little bit more structure planned than last year, but there is still so much that is unknown. I know that I will finish my B.A. in Psychology and graduate in December, and that’s about it. I know that I will spend the next year replying to the question “What are your plans for when you’re done your degree?” with the same robotic answer about how I still don’t know what I want to do with my life, but that I’m not worried because I’m young and have so much time to figure things out. Deep down, I hoped that taking a year off and doing something for myself would have lead me to some magical flashing sign, pointing toward the answer to that question. But as I should have known because they rarely do, things didn’t exactly go the way I planned in that sense. My crystal ball is still foggy and grey. And I’m okay with it.