This time of year is always bittersweet. It's a time for family, food and friends, yes. It is also a time to reflect on where your life has been and where you would like it to go. In all honesty, it's probably easier for one to predict the weather than to predict an entire year of their life.
What has 2010 been for me? It's been a year of healing, recovering, learning and maturing. While the journey was tough, and there was a lot of pain and hard work, 2010 was a stepping stone to the rest of my life. A life outside of overindulgence and self pity. A life outside of a man who didn't treat me well. 2010 has been the year for me, Kate. It's the very springboard that I believe I needed in order to get me to the next phase of my journey in life. This year has also been a tough year, in that I was supposed to graduate college this year and I can't help but think "what if?" I didn't screw up my plans, and maybe my life?
In some ways I am so appreciative of my life lessons that I had to learn while in college, aside from the lessons in the classroom. The one thing that I have learned is that we each have our own paths we are meant to walk down. What's right for me is not right for anyone else. Accepting this as a relevant truth is something that has set me free. Everytime I look at someone with envy, disgust, or judgment, I remember that they are one a different path than me. Some people's paths have less twists and turns than others. Neither is better, neither is worse, they are just different. My path has consisted of many stepping stones. I have been growing into the person I need to be since the day I was born. I am not like most people who can slide through life simply meeting the expectations that others have set for me. I am in this world to do a specific task, as is everyone. My gift and my curse is that I don't want to settle until I find out exactly what my calling is. There are people who know exactly what they are going to do, or are meant to do. Some know from a young age, others just grow into what they define as their destiny. Some people believe they make their own destiny.
I believe in my heart of hearts that I will find my specific cause for being brought into this world, and I will not quit growing, learning, and even making mistakes until I find out what it is.
I find it fascintating how different people are as individuals. I grew up in the suburbs where everyone was the same. Everyone dressed the same, came from the same middle class, had the same family incomes, same taste in music, same morals and values. When I went away to college to a very diverse school, my world was turned upside down. I did not know people were actually different, that they had different interests than me, different strengths and weaknesses. It honestly blew me away, and it took me a long time to grasp. My reality and perception of the world, my faith, my political convictions, my family values all changed within months. The lessons that I learned so quickly weren't lessons at the time, they were just crazy experiences to talk about to my friends from the suburbs. My life became somewhat of a circus, as I threw myself into all these different scenarios with different people...I became like Goldielocks trying out all the different types of living. Some were too much for me, others weren't enough, and I eventually settled for a life that I believed at the time to be the life of my dreams. Of course, all that glitters isn't gold, and the decisions I made and "experiences" that I had for three years turned out to be all the wrong ones in the "conventional way" I thought life was supposed to be. The worst part about it was that for the first time in my life I was being judged negatively for not being who or what my family and old friends thought I was. So, in an effort to keep my independence, I kept rebelling against what I was supposed to be. Looking back, everything that happened was a lot worse than I could have imagined my life being, but that was my journey. The moment that I stepped into a new city, a university and life, my journey had just begun. This is because I wasn't necessarily in complete control of my life, or at least I didn't think. Maybe it began at that moment because I was, in fact, in control for the first time and I took my freedom and ran with it? The jury is still out on that, but I will say that my life has never been the same since and I can't tell if I regret it or not....that's another story for another day.
Think about your path. Your journey. Don't worry about others' or you will never be content with your own. Stay true to yourself. Learn. Grow. And keep the faith that tomorrow is another day.