Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reflecting on 2014

I've been thinking about this post for about a month now. I'm pretty sure I drafted it up over Thanksgiving break. Maybe that makes me a crazy person. Or maybe I'm just deep. Who knows. But this year has definitely been a learning experience in just about every way possible. And as far as I'm concerned, that's what life is really all about. 

But I can also say this is was quite possibly one of my best years yet. Through the ups and downs, I've really embraced what life handed me and it's made me a better person today. 

So. Here's what 2014 taught me:

Family can be a mess, but at the end of the day, they're all you've got.
With everything that happened this year with my wonderful grandmother, I've seen the tearing apart and repair of an amazing family. We tend to take a families for granted because they are always there. But we shouldn't. We should embrace that together-ness and realize that we are blessed with people who have no other option but to love you.
 

Hard work and dedication can get you anywhere.
My internship in the spring seems like it was eons ago. But those five months really taught me a lot about who I am, where I'm going, and how much hard work it takes to get where you want to go. As exhausted as I have been most of 2014, it has always been worth the struggles.

When you feel like you've lost everything, another door will open.
This year I've had several doors slammed in my face. And I've always, always found another way, another path, or turned around and tried again. There was a point in mid-April where I thought my whole life was crashing down around me. But I got up, dusted myself off, and took off in a different direction full speed ahead. I've completely changed my life path and now I'm on my way to achieving completely different goals than I had coming into this year.

"Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead
This quote has always stuck for me. But this year I've been a part of a group of people that really proved it to be true. I've spent 6 years of my life dedicated to UGA HEROs and it has been worth every second of it. If only because of this moment:

Friends are all around you, you just have to let them in.
I'm the queen of accidentally turning people away from me. I tend to get some serious tunnel vision in certain situations and shut people out for no good reason. In May it seemed like all of my friends graduated and left me in Athens all alone. I was worried that because I'd spent the past four years content with my group of friends, I would suddenly be a loner in Athens. But after I finally opened my eyes to the wonderful people that were surrounding me, I made some of the greatest friends I could have ever asked for, and developed better relationships with the people I already loved. Sometimes I've just got to look up and take it all in to realize what I've got.

The future will always seem uncertain.
This one is something that I've always known, but never wanted to accept. Once you get to college, you pretty much have the next four years of your life planned out for you. You've simply got to find a major, pass your classes, make friends, and get out. That's really all that's required of you. But what happens after that is all a mystery. And I'm starting to really accept and embrace that. I'm excited for what lies ahead of me in 2015... uncertainty and all!

Happy New Years, y'all!

xoxo, jgp

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