I’m old enough to leave home but way too young to know what I should do – Emily Hearn
Fresh powdered snow. Sun beams melting your skin as they shine through the window. The sound of steamed milk in the background as the barista makes their 15th latte of the morning. Students bent over books cramming for that final, friends laughing over coffee, a single businessman going over the projections for the afternoon meeting. A quite corner, out of sight and mind to many, but the perfect place to people watch and reflect. As December comes to a close, you can’t help but think back to all the things that had happened throughout the year. A lot has changed, for better or worse, you still don’t know. Globally, the US has a new “president“, Iraq declared victory against ISIS after 3 long years, the UN declared worst humanitarian crisis since 1945, Australia finally entered 2017, the first terrorist attack in years occurred in Iran, a total solar eclipse took place on August 21 and finally, the #Metoo campaign was named “Person of the Year”. These are simply a few of the major events which took place this year and with 2.5 weeks remaining, there is no telling what can happen.
You sit back in awe, remembering where you were when you heard about the events. How you felt, what you thought, who you were with. Yes, on a global scale, the events which transpired in 2017 will be discussed for a long time. However, a lot has changed in your personal life as well. Sitting at a cafe, in a new city called home, surrounded by strangers, this year is not what you expected. But then again, you didn’t really know what you expected. You learned that perhaps, you’re the toxic person in the lives of those you care most about. You finally acknowledged your mental illness and are taking the steps to fix it. Your heart broke into a million pieces and slowly glued back together. You reconnected with childhood friends and made new ones. You traveled across the country you get to call home with the most amazing individuals, and mended your relationship with your siblings. You both got and defeated cancer. You moved to a new province with nothing but a car and suitcase and started grad school. You traveled to Central America, climbed a volcano, surfed sunrise and sunset waves, and embraced the kindness of locals. You did your first open-mic in 3 years and laughed with strangers you now call friends.
The year had its ups and downs. Sometimes you focus too much on the bad that you forget the good. Don’t forget the good. Don’t let the good become overshadowed. But also don’t ignore the bad. It’s the combination of the two that shaped your year, and years to come. You may not be where you thought you would be but life doesn’t care about schedules, so maybe you shouldn’t either.
Maybe you should stop trying to be everything you thought you’d be and just be who you are.