New Year Musings

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It’s a month and a half into the new year and still ten and a half months to go of learning and self-discovery. I find that no matter how much I learn about myself, there is still so much to understand and process. Things that I didn’t even know affected me often control my reactions in ways I can never predict.

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The end of last year and the beginning of this year have been some of the busiest and most stressful months of my life. While there were many things I wanted to do and things that I found genuinely enjoyable, I found that there was still a lot of emotional stress concerning relationships, education, and my future. At this stage in my life, so many things are uncertain and it’s impossible to know which is the best course of action as there are so many to choose from.

I decided that the option holding the most potential for me was attending university in the fall. While I am excited to see what university lifestyle is like, the stress in finishing up my first semester of grade twelve courses was unlike any I had experienced before. Being a dreamer and a hardcore procrastinator, I managed to get very behind in probably one of the most important semesters of education in my life. I was very unsure of how to deal with it, and the question arose how I could’ve been shortsighted enough to allow it to happen… and this wasn’t the first time.

This plunged me into a frame of mind where self-doubt ruled and I didn’t feel like I could accomplish anything. My social life came to a standstill and I didn’t get out of the house at all. This period was interrupted by my brother coming to stay and the Christmas holidays easing my frazzled mind. I was lucky I was able to even have a Christmas break, and the two weeks of school holiday made it seem like I would actually get through this.

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Then there were diploma exams. Anyone who grew up in Alberta can relate, but basically, they are your grade twelve exams on steroids. The first one was okay, the second one cutting it close, and the third, well…. we don’t go there.

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It was the first time in my life my educational career has ridden so forcefully on my performance in an exam. I’m generally a pretty high achieving student, but man, those exams knocked me down hard. After finishing my last exam on a Friday, we went straight in to packing for a holiday in the mountains to begin to recuperate. It took the whole week for me to even relax, and I’m still attempting to sort out all the aspects of my life… I wonder if I will ever be finished in that respect.

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There’s only so much room organization you can do before the end of the day, and even when you think everything’s in its place, something in your life will manage to nag the back of your mind. For me, it’s the preparation of leaving South Africa indefinitely. This country is almost all that I’ve known for eight years, and in the past few months, I feel like I’ve finally found a group of people I feel comfortable in, and in the midst of it I have to pack up and leave.

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The knowledge that other people are also finding their way and going off in different paths brings me some sense of peace, but the fear of the unknown is startling. If you knew me well you wouldn’t take me for a shy person, but having to pack up my life and move to an almost foreign place for the second time in my life makes me wonder if I’ll make any friends. It’s taken me eight years to find some really good ones on this side of the world, will my experience be similar on the other side of the world?

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I guess the start of the new year has allowed me to take a step back, and to appreciate where I am at, right now in my life. I don’t need to be anticipating my future all the time, I don’t need to be planning what my life is going to be like in ten years, I can just live in the moment, and do my best with what I’m given. I guess part of the journey is enjoying where you’re at in your life, no matter the circumstances.

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In this coming year, I want to be able to be true to myself and not feel pressured to fulfill other people’s expectations of me. I want to set standards for myself, and live my life without thinking that someone might not agree with me. I can be such a people pleaser at times and while it feels so good when you make someone feel happy, in the end, it doesn’t fulfill you as a person. You need to be okay with who you are before you can start helping others in their insecurities. But it’s never easy, it’s a constant struggle and I will be living that struggle for the rest of my life. Such is the life of a social butterfly.

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I know this is a long blog post, so I hope I haven’t lost you, but in these photos that I’ve posted here, I remember looking at them and seeing how pretty I thought I was. I wasn’t worried, I wasn’t overthinking everything, I was just admiring the view and posing for the camera. How simple does that sound?

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I hope this has given you some insight into the crazy, weird, wonderful life that I live and that it has helped you in some way or gotten you to think a different way about the challenges you might be facing. If you have any suggestions for the kind of stuff you would like me to post on here, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email; I’d love to hear from you! There are more posts coming, I promise, it just takes me a while to put everything together sometimes, but I’ll try and be more diligent about it in the future.

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Above all, I hope this post has been inspiring. That is my one hope for this blog, that people would read what I write and look at my pictures and feel a little lighter than before. We’re all destined for something, we just have to trust that we are on the right path.

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Thank you for reading!

Abby

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