Every New Year’s Eve, I carve out the time to review the goals that I set out for myself that year. I highlight the ones that I achieved, and sadly shake my head at the ones I didn’t—especially the ones that I really wanted to accomplish. Every year, my goals include books that I want to read, novels that I want to write, things I want to do (like taking a cake decorating class), travelling somewhere, and of course, getting my grades to a certain level. I’ve been creating these goals for myself since I was about fourteen when I was old enough to understand that I had enormous potential to accomplish significant things. Once I finish establishing which goals I failed to complete, then I create an entirely new list of goals for the following year. Each year, I take it down a notch because it seems I am always over ambitious, and can’t possibly cross off everything on that list.
But this year, as 2014 comes to a close, I find myself changing my approach to the coming year. 2014 has altered so many significant things and people in my life that I think it is time for me to reflect.
Thank you, 2014, for allowing me to move into my very first house more excited than ever. And thank you for giving me the opportunity to realize it is not where I want to continue living.
Thank you, 2014, for letting me clean dorm rooms at Queen’s University this past summer. While it was extremely gross and without air conditioning, I met several wonderful people who I consider to be good friends today.
Thank you, 2014, for helping me pick my major when I felt lost. I had no idea that I would wind up picking Gender Studies, but I’m confident it’s the right choice for me.
Thank you, 2014, for my break up. This relationship taught me a great deal about him, myself, and what I want out of a future boyfriend. It was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, but it has made me who I am.
Thank you, 2014, for allowing me to repair my relationship with my sister post-breakup. It’s a miracle, but we are finally getting along, and learning how to have a mature relationship.
Thank you, 2014, for introducing me to the joys and blunders of Tinder. I appreciate the thirteen dates I went on. I appreciate the guys I met—good and bad. But most of all, I appreciate the gem that you gave me amongst a pile of rocks. He sure is special—as casual as he may be.
Thank you, 2014, for helping me join the Gender Studies Department Student Council. I have met a great bunch of girls who I can truly rely on, and have changed my life for the better.
But finally—and most importantly—thank you, 2014, for the three dear best friends that I have. These women are the most beautiful, intelligent and remarkable people I have ever met. I know that I would be entirely lost without them, and would not have made it through the first half of my second year at Queen’s without them. When my world was in turmoil, they were the three rays of sun, shining through, telling me not to give up. And I didn’t. So thank you.
Instead of creating a new list for 2015, I am going to focus on myself. I lost myself this year, and I still don’t quite know who I am, or what I want. It is definitely the most important goal I have—to find myself again. Thank you, 2015, for giving me the opportunity to discover who I am . . . and for the people who are going to help me get there.