Closing 2014

Complete my finals, move out, fly half-way across the world, get a haircut, prepare myself for Christmas in one day, “do” Christmas, see everyone I need to see, unpack, repack for a getaway week, and of course, blog. Check, check, and… getting there!

Life never seems to slow down, until right now. And wait, 2014 is almost over?! What did I miss?? 😉

I started my year in Guatemala, a week later I went to Costa Rica; in the Spring, I wrote a grant to go to the rainforest (Ecuador) in the summer while simultaneously applying to study abroad in Finland, where I traveled to Sweden and Ireland. And all of this is over… I’m still in disbelief! But what have I learned from this last year, you may ask? That’s a loaded question…

For starters, I have learned that I have a passion for development, specifically economic development and international affairs. I’m not sure what to make of these passions and interests, but something I’ve learned this last year is that I cannot know what steps I will be taking, let’s say a year from now, without having completed and “walked” the previous ones. But I will keep you posted on the career path I decide to follow 🙂

Another very important lesson that I have taken from this last year is just how small our world is. What I mean by this is in terms of accessibility, for many of us at least. It is HUGE in terms of diversion and beauty. Without a doubt, the world has made cruel revelations to me in the last twelve months, but I am so thankful for these revelations, for I am now able to understand people more, why they do what they do, and perhaps see plausible solutions to minimize their troubles. However, the world has also revealed to me that although it may seem big and dangerous at times, it is mostly a safe place and that most people around the world, despite what the media says, are doing okay and are even happy with their lives. I always tell my friends that we have to be smarter than the media and grasp a better sense of reality, which is not all that bad, especially when you have hope. As someone who is interested in development, I have to maintain a fearful yet optimistic idea of the world in order to continue to push forward with my interests.

To the people that I have met this last year all around the world, and to those back home that have kept up with me and all of my travels, I thank you for making me a better person; I raise my glass to you. I have countless role models in my life, young and older, and they each make up a tiny part of who I am; I carry them with me everywhere I go.

To think that 2014 is over, that all of the plans that were mere ideas one year ago are completed, is a little scary and exciting to me. 2014 has proven to me that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength, that I can accomplish every goal that is set in my heart and even excel if I let myself be taught by others. This to me is a little frightening, because some of the dreams that I have feel very unrealistic, immense, and overwhelming. But I now trust myself more, so I will continue to let myself dream.

I wish you all a very joyful start to the new year, and I wish you health, love, joy, laughter, good food, good company, travel, and hope in 2015 and beyond.

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