i’ve never written a old year/new year reflection post before, which really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise seeing as how i rarely write any kind of post (except for kdrama related ones because, c’mon.) but i think it’s important to document 2013 in some shape or form because i’m fairly certain it’s been the most important year of my life thus far, and here’s why:
i was selfish.
up until this year, i’d done much of what was expected of me: college, more college, and job. i spent time with family, invested in friends, my community, and my church. i loved every. single. second of it, yes, but i’d be lying if i said it was easy. with those expectations came this feeling that i was supposed to be somewhere in my 30th year that i wasn’t, and the fact that i wasn’t is still a hard pill to swallow even as i write this. but i kept doing what i thought was expected of me because i thought, “surely it’ll happen. all good things come to those who wait, right?”
but i kinda got tired of waiting.
teaching abroad in south korea is something i’ve wanted to do for a few years now, but like many things that didn’t quite fit into what i thought was expected from my life, it remained on the outskirts. a dream. something i was destined to look back on in a few years and regret not doing.
i’m not sure at what point in early 2013 i decided, finally, fully, that i was going to do this. i think it was several things that’d been in the works slowly coming together the align themselves in this almost-perfect moment of clarity, but none of that really matters maybe: what matters is i did it.
i was selfish and i moved to the other side of the world to teach.
i left my sweet, sweet dog, my family, my friends, my community, and my church behind and i went. it was a hard decision to make and there were several moments where i almost didn’t, where i thought, maybe if i make this plan, all those other things i wanted will come, but then i realized: this is what i wanted.
i wanted to make a choice about my future, i wanted to take a risk, and i wanted to follow through.
i guess in the grand scheme of things, 2013 isn’t about south korea (though south korea is awesome), but more about my finally growing up. making hard decisions and taking a chance on something that might not work out. sacrificing the comfort of the familiar–coffee dates with friends, daily phone conversations with my parents, cuddling with kipling on the couch–to experience something new and different and exciting.
the real reason i’ve never really written a old year/new year reflection is because so often in my reflection, i only see my struggles. i see the things i regret doing or not doing, and i dwell on the ways i could’ve been, should’ve been better. i’m never excited for the new year, but instead anxious about the ways i struggle, fall, and struggle again.
but when i look back on 2013, my heart is so, so full. this year has taught me so much about life, about people, and about myself. for the first time i’m looking to the new year with an eagerness and thrist i’ve never felt before. i am excited about the people i’ll meet, the places i’ll go, and the things i’ll continue to learn.
so here’s to 2014–maybe it be just as wonderful.