December has long been a month of reflection for me. Usually, I spend the three weeks I have off from school reading the stack of books on my bedside table, journaling about what will come in the next year, and spending time with my family.
This is the first year where I don’t have time off. I get Christmas Day and New Years Day, but that’s it. Otherwise I’m working, seeing students who are finally taking the time to come see an advisor now that classes are done, and potentially working on some projects.
It’s going to be a weird few weeks, as I have a lot of reflection I’d like to be doing.
2014 was a tumultuous year. I was offered a job in early January that didn’t pan out, completed my Master’s Degree in May, moved back across the country, and started a new job. I moved in with my family for six weeks, and then in with a roommate. I made new friends. I got involved in the community.
I also ended up in a position that didn’t turn out the way that I thought it would (expectations are funny that way). I’ve had a rough six months financially and personally. I’ve had to shift into a version of adulthood I wasn’t ever really anticipating – that 9-to-6, can’t afford to run around with your friends (financially or sleep-wise) kind of adulthood that I never looked forward to. I’ve thought about going back to school, even though I just finished. I’ve woken up some mornings and wished I could start over.
There has been a lot of good and bad this year. 2014 and I are not really friends. My word for the year was supposed to be magic. I imagined great, amazing things happening, and had plans to travel and meet new people and maybe fall in love.
None of that happened. Instead I’m sitting in mountains of debt and living paycheck-to-paycheck.
I don’t tell you all of this so that you feel sorry for me. I’ve begun to turn my attitude around recently, finally realizing that all of the things that I’ve been through this year only make me stronger. I’m embracing the magic my friends bring in to my life and trying to channel their spirit on the days that things don’t feel like they’re going so well.
Due to my new schedule and my inability to make myself reflect on when I have time (I watched a lot of Christmas movies that I’ve seen 1,000 times this weekend), this is my first time really sitting down to reflect.
And what I realize is that, while 2014 may not have felt like magic in the way that I was expected, I still experienced magic. I grew as a person. I’ve been learning how to be a 9-to-6 employee, and have been learning how to speak my mind when I’m concerned about things. I’ve been getting back in to community involvement that I love and that I let drop from my radar during graduate school. There are things I don’t like about my attitude right now, but I am working to change those things.
Magic as a verb means “to create, transform, move, etc., by or as if by magic” (dictionary.com). I don’t know what I’ve transformed into yet. Maybe I won’t for a while. But there were definitely some magical things that happened this year, and, even if 2014 and I aren’t really friends right now, at least I can be thankful for that.
Melissa Boles is an Academic Advisor based out of Vancouver, Washington, who believes in love letters, coffee dates, and magic. She is learning to cook, to keep a plant alive, and how to love herself and others. She is available on her blog, twitter, and via email at email@example.com. She would love to hear from you.
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