This past year brought with it some of the most difficult times, and some of the most beautiful. I experienced deep patience and unrefined frustration. I doubted myself and my abilities at times, and yet felt truly invincible at others. I broke some rules and upheld others. I made some tough decisions and some easy ones (yes, I will have the most chocolatey ice cream). I learned how to hold myself up but also when to let someone else take the weight. I chose happiness over worry (as much as one has the power to do so), and I continued my journey of learning what fuels my body and what fuels my neuroses.
In 2017, I spent approximately 3 months putzing around my parents' house, 4.5 months on the Appalachian Trail, 3 months working on Thompson Island, 2 weeks volunteering in Texas, and another month traveling, with family, or in some other type of limbo. I learned so much about the person that I want to be, but have come to few conclusions as to how I would like to get there. I have learned much about acceptance and feeling at peace with chaos and indecision. I heard so many kind words from powerful, passionate, intelligent, and hard-working women, which really speaks to the fact that empowered women empower women.
I was able to experience some truly selfless generosity, which I expect to work to return karmically for the rest of eternity. I remembered how passionately I want kindness and compassion to be a part of everything I do, and to be patient with myself while I grow to this standard. I felt the urgency for environmental action, the helplessness of someone who wasn't sure how to take action, and then the intentionality of someone who is realizing their own potential. I turned 23, which was the second birthday that didn't feel important and I still can't rent a car or run for office.
I am ready to face 2018 with an open mind and an open heart as I move to a different region and begin a new profession. I am eternally grateful to everyone that helped me in any way this past year, and to everyone who has offered so much support for everything I am doing. I am enthusiastically approaching this year with the spirit of someone who is ready to give to the universe everything I can (within reason).
Please consider these my sincerest regards for a wonderfully sustainable and contented new year.