2015, thank you for showing me the light to my dark.

It is a common theme for people to look back at the past year and think of all the things that have gone wrong, focus on their failings and shortcomings, and devise plans for how they will make some serious changes in the new year. I am sick of looking at the seemingly endless list all of the things I have done wrong, and so instead, I’m looking at all the things I have learned in the past year (or technically, the culmination of my entire life up to this point).

2015, you’ve been the best one yet. Writing this list was a surprising breeze, part of it I had already constructed at the end of my trip to Barcelona. Some of these items are things people say all the time, but it wasn’t until now that I feel like I both understand and appreciate their meaning. I had the hardest time fishing #12 out of my head, which was a fun surprise when it finally came to me. #12 is the crown of lessons from 2015, and one I hope I keep top of mind forever.

Thanks 2015. You were awesome.

  1. You’re not alone. You’re never alone.
  2. Being completely content when you’re by yourself is an art and a practice.
  3. Know yourself. Above all things. You are no good to anyone else without that knowledge. And then, if there is no one else to give your time to, it doesn’t matter (see #2).
  4. Wherever you go, there you are. Changing places can change your perspective, but it won’t change your idiosyncrasies.
  5. Family is always there for you, and will always welcome you with open arms—even if you have never met them.
  6. There is no place like home, and you will miss it even when you are having the best time of your life.
  7. Smiling, graciousness, and good manners go a long way. They are part of a universal language of kindness.
  8. If you end up with garbage on your table, clean it up or find a new table. Only you can make that change!
  9. Your past shapes you, but does not define you. Do not stay a victim of your past, be a victor of your present.
  10. Passion, tenacity, perseverance, trust, stamina, and giant stretches of time will lead you to opportunity and appreciation in life—but you must keep an open heart and mind to see these chances.
  11. Learning to listen to your instinct—your heart—takes patience but is worth it. Listening to your heart will steer you away from darkness and will always lead you towards love and light.
  12. Find the positive to all your negatives, and the light to all of your dark. When things are bleak and hopeless, know that all of your sadness and fear cannot exist without all of your happiness and love.

And so, with lots of love and light, here is to a beautiful and rewarding 2016, for myself and for everyone.