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Maybe this year will be better than the last

December 29, 2006

    Presently, 2006 will be drawing to a close, and as such I feel compelled to make a review of my year, and see how well I've lived up to the goals that I set for myself at this time last year.
Let's start with the review. In 2006, I:
    Loved and lost, finally had a good living situation at school, learned to cook a fabulous garlic-citrus chicken, broke my ankle, completed my third year of college, made the Dean's List for the first time since I left UNH, finally ridded myself of certain old emotional baggage, learned to walk again, turned 21, traveled to distant lands, was invited to join the National Foreign Language Honor Society, realized that I'm terrified of failure (realized that problem is fixable), discovered just exactly how much my family and friends mean to me, have seen incredible places and things, and –last but NOT least– went out on a limb and made a new friend, just in time for the 31st. All in all, I'd say it's been a busy year! I realize while doing this review how constant some things are– the deaths of loved ones, the come and go of relationships. The characters change, but the play stays the same.
    2006 has been particularly significant because in this year I have achieved several long term goals that are very important to me, most notable (actually…all) in the field of academics. I finally pulled my GPA back above a 3.0 after several rough semesters, and it earned me a place on the Honor roll and an invitation into Phi Sigma Iota, the Honor Society for Foreign Languages– something I have been aiming for since becoming a Spanish major. In conjunction with this (and as everyone knows ^_^) I have moved myself to Spain for the year, and all one has to do is ask my parents to find out how long I've been dreaming of studying abroad!
    More than anything, though, being in Europe is really opening my eyes to my true character…for better and for worse. I have learned that I am anxious, scared, easily deterred, maybe a bit lazy, quickly angered, care too much what others think of me, and quickly lulled into routine. On the other hand, I'm loyal, curious, loving, open, witty, and never satisfied. This last one may not seem like a virtue at first, but I have realized that this very quality is the one that helps me battle my tendency towards comfortable routine (which I consider my worst trait), because as Oscar Wilde put it, "Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative."
    Being here, as hard as it feels sometimes to be away from everything that I am familar with, is without doubt the best move I could have made for myself– perhaps the best move that I have made, period. Traveling, really traveling and not just sight-seeing, is hard. Trying to make a niche for yourself in a new community, as opposed to just scratching at the surface, is hard. Challenging yourself not to lead a stale and empty life– to really LIVE, and not just exist– is hard.
    But if wanting these things is half the battle (and who's to say?), then let's leave it at that I've seen the whites of their eyes, and I'm ready to fire.

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