Embrace, my word for 2014
I've been thinking about the year ahead, and I've only just realized that this is the last calendar year of that regular routine I've been living my whole life. The routine in which I finish the school year, have summer vacation and start another academic term in the fall. A year from now I will be in my last semester of college, graduating, and entering a world in which summer vacation and academic schedules aren't necessarily the norm.
As I mentioned in my resolutions post, I've been taking time to assess where I am these first few days of the new year. Everything seems to keep going--at a pace I can only sometimes keep up with--and everything keeps getting better and better. As I was thinking about my bucket list and prepping for our sorority recruitment meet-and-greet, I asked myself what piece of advice would I tell freshmen. It's a weird question and I feel a little sappy for even going there but honestly, what would I tell my younger freshman self?
I think I would say something along the lines of not worrying about what you aren't doing. Sometimes we get so caught up in the Yale experience, the college experience. We get anxious over the things we're missing out on and not enjoying what we actually are doing.
What we don't realize is that there is inherent value in everything we do, even the things that we regret doing. We learn from our actions and their consequences. Our most mundane activities are all part of the journey. And I want to stop thinking about what I could be doing and focusing more on what I am doing. These are the moments that I will look back on in the years to come. Let me take ownership of that.
I think that is the major thing I want to work on this year. This idea of no regrets, appreciating what has been and what will be. Embrace--that's the word I'm looking for.
I like the word embrace because it is a little bit more active than "accept." I will not just accept the things that have happened and will happen to me. I will embrace them, take advantage of them and actively appreciate them. I will clutch, grasp at and take hold of those moments of craziness, calmness, anxiety and pure happiness. I will learn from these events, smile at their memory and tell their story.
I will embrace the past and all the wonderful, mysterious, unfortunate things to come. I will embrace movie nights with the suite, that bloated feeling we all get after Sunday bagel brunch, staring up at the bright ceiling on the gym floor and 2 a.m. walks in search of food. I will embrace higher expectations, new family circumstances and opportunities to speak up for myself.
I'm happy to settle on this word, embrace. This is what will guide me through the rest of the year, with all its amazing things to come. This is what will help me fulfill my new year's resolutions of owning my accomplishments and becoming more fearless in the ways I want to improve myself. It will help me find peace with myself and what I'm doing in the moment.