Growing up, Easter was always a special time of year. Not because of bunnies and rabbits or because of some of the religious traditions of Holy Week but because of Alumni Weekend. The time where my family and I made the relatively short trip to Alabama for the weekend. As a homeschooled kid, these trips were good great for seeing how “regular” kids were and just taking in the sights that only come with a large gathering of thousands. This trip was made every year without fail. Through multiple kids and carting strollers up and down stadium steps, my parents adapted and made it work. My family didn’t celebrate Easter however many family members made it a point to be present this weekend. From aunts, uncles, and extended cousins to people we considered family, it was like a huge yearly reunion. From childhood to adolescence to adulthood, this weekend is the second time in my life (the first being three years ago) that I’ve missed this event. I’ve attended as a grandchild and child of students who attended, as a student myself and then as a student who graduated. The routine is always the same with the exception of little adjustments. This weekend I’m feeling especially homesick as I’m missing the feeling of being in the familiar environment in which I spent 21 years or so of my life. It’s a habit that has become a tradition I don’t like to deviate from. It is a family reunion of sorts–especially considering the fact that I don’t go to my actual family reunions. Everyone doesn’t have the chance to go to a college where their grandparents and parents, cousins and other extended family members either taught at or attended. I had an awesome college experience and while I didn’t believe when people said that college is the best years of your life, I believe it now. Not that there’s nothing to look forward to but there’s something special about living for four years with people you’ve grown up with and known for years and bonding over mutual experiences. I won’t live that close to that many friends at any point in my life again. Adulthood has happened and I have to adjust accordingly. I’m a fan of new adventures but sometimes it’s nice to visit where you grew up and catch up with old friends. There’s no place like home and today I miss my college one.
Five things I’ve learned this year
1. Sometimes determination is more important than talent. There are many talented people who are lazy and miss out while determined people are out working them.
2. Some people have good intentions, many do not. We are all driven in some way by our own agenda and it’s rare to find someone who is genuinely unselfish.
3. Relationships are important. No one has even gotten what they wanted out of life without forming strategic relationships.
4. Sometimes you have to do what makes you happy. At the end of the day you have to live with your decisions and consequences. You can’t please everyone and you’ll burn out trying.
5. There are some people in your life you just have to distance yourself from. They won’t understand and you’ll waste your breath trying to explain to them. Life goes on and you should too.
Ok, I’ll make this brief. I wanted to make sure to post something today due to the fact that it is the last day of the year AND it’s also my 100th post. I’ve become so much more comfortable with blogging and have even come to enjoy this random expression of my thoughts. This year has been full of ups and downs. Some highs and some really low lows. I can honestly say that I’m happy to see it go. Definitely some of the great times this year involved going to Miami twice–although I went once with my mother so I don’t know how much that counts. Traveling is something that I always want to do more of. I also had the chance to go to some pretty good concerts and hear some of my favorite artists. Had a few earth shattering moments that forced me to re-evaluate my life. Additionally, I made an effort to become more social and pushed myself out of my comfort zone. As a result, I met some great people. Finishing my post-graduate program on time was also a big victory for me–especially since I moved out here for the sheer purpose of starting and completing the program. I survived and continue to survive the snow and ice. And more importantly, I learned more about myself and what I want to accomplish in my life. I’ve made hard decisions that I didn’t want to make but made anyway that forced me to prioritize my goals. 2014 represents another opportunity to learn and grow and (hopefully) travel and have more fun. It’s been a long long LONG year but it also flew by really fast. So long 2013…..I won’t miss you.