Between just returning home from a semester abroad (which included organizing my bedroom/life since I left it a mess the last time I was here in August) and the food/family-filled craziness of the holidays and moving into school, I am just getting around to thinking more in depth about the year we are leaving behind. Probably about two weeks late; we all know I’m not the most timely person…. but really one of the aspects I find to be the most beneficial for me in working to improve myself, and just in working to be more conscious, is to reflect. I cannot help but be reflective when I have so much to think about and so much to be grateful for!
Last year, while reflecting on 2014, I called it the best year of my life so far. Now as I am looking back at all that 2015 has brought my way, and all that I have brought my own way, I would say there’s definitely some competition.
This year I moved back to Endicott College after my semester abroad in Spain and instantly made a bunch of new friends in my new roommates. I felt like I had finally found my people. Now we have a house on campus together with even more of our friends. I turned 21 which was obviously pretty cool. In 2015 I also joined the rugby team, marking the third random sports team I joined in college. I was able to play a lot of guitar this year including sing alongs with my roommates, hangouts at the dog beach with a big group of friends, my first performance, and then the first time I performed a song I wrote.
My boyfriend Tommy and I spent my spring break/his real-life break in Florida at the beach, driving a nice car, and swimming with manatees. I worked for my third summer at the Girl Scout camp that I have come to adore, wrote for the newspaper at my college, wrote a thesis, and worked a lot on my blog and sharing it with people which has been cool. I happily celebrated being with my boyfriend for a year and then a year and a half. This summer we made touring local vineyards and checking out vegetarian restaurants into our newest hobby. In August I went on vacation to Nantucket with Tommy’s family for a week, visited one roommate in Cape Cod for a beach bar opening and went sightseeing in another’s hometown in Maine, and celebrated another’s 21st birthday in the rain in Weymouth, MA.
The most exciting and incredible part of 2015 was spending a quarter of it in Rica. This time last year, having just arrived home from my first semester abroad in Spain, I never would’ve thought (though maybe hoped, dreamed, and imagined) that I would feel so fulfilled by yet another indescribable semester abroad a year later. I went down to Costa Rica for the fall semester knowing nobody without a clue in the world what to expect. Not only did I spend my weekends at the beach or in the mountains, but I spent the weekdays teaching English to pre-school through sixth grade students, living with a host family, making so many unexpected and amazing friends, and improving my Spanish. I was also able to travel briefly to Nicaragua and Panama, in addition to creating my own English curriculum to teach adult English Language Learners. I’m so grateful for every day I got to spend in Central America.
Another fall semester abroad meant spending yet another Thanksgiving away from home, but taught me that I have so much to be thankful for. When I came home my mom, sister, and I volunteered at the We are the Children Christmas Party on Christmas Day for the second year in a row. THEN I was able to casually ring in the new year with some great friends who I don’t get to see nearly enough. It was a wonderful way to wrap up a wonderful year. When I look back, I know that’s how life should be lived! Every year should bring with it its own incredible, exciting, terrifying, and wonderful moments. How lucky am I to constantly be making all of these memories, connecting with such wonderful people, expanding my mind, learning to love my body, and spending my days doing the things I am most passionate about?
I am so blessed to be living the life I love. And that’s what it’s all about: every day we create the person that we are and the life we live. Why not create something we love? Every new year comes with 365 days to become closer to the “you” that you want to be. I am excited for this fresh start and becoming a more “me” version of myself every day.
I have so much planned for 2016- graduating from college, moving out of my parents’ house, starting my master’s degree, getting in shape for a bunch of races, etc. I cannot wait to see what else this upcoming year has in store! Cheers to 2015 and all the happiness it has brought me and to 2016 for all the memories I’m about to make. Thanks for continuing to follow me on my adventures this past year…..Wishing you and yours a very happy new year!