Now that 2016 is winding down, and we are one month out from 2017, I am looking to the future for what I want it to hold. 2016 was a hard year to say the least and to quote Kylie Jenner, it was very much the year of like, realizing things. I did a lot of realizing, and for that I am grateful and I wouldn’t revert anything, no matter how often I fondly look back at the blissfully ignorant state I used to live my life in.
I learned a lot about others, but most importantly things about myself which I was unaware of. I thought I knew myself pretty well, but I actually spent the better amount of three years using my social life as a way to focus everything outward instead of inward. Graduating university definitely opened my eyes up to the fact that I didn’t know too much about myself apart from who I associated with. And that everything I worked so hard for where I went to school, meant nothing when I moved almost two hours home. The concept of inhabiting yourself, yet not knowing or comprehending yourself wholly fascinates me to no end. Throughout this year, I have felt like a stranger living in my own head, amazed at what was buried deep inside and where I went to when things got challenging (which was most of the year). I made bets with and against myself, and shockingly surprised myself when I had either done something out of character or dealt with happenings in an ideal fashion. I would read things, or think things and have these palm-smacking-forehead moments as if I had already thought similar concepts but never coined them or filed them away for easier finding.
Reflecting back, as well as this topic coming up in conversation plenty of times with an array of people, I have come to much confusion of who I was and what I was thinking before I truly felt alive. Up until my second year of university, I swore I was on autopilot and something unknown happened in the winter of that year and ever since then I’ve been present in my own life. I can’t really explain what the trigger might have been but my state of mind altered for the better. It is crazy hearing stories about yourself and drawing a blank as to when that happened or why I would do or say some of the things that I did. I know people experience similar situations where they act without thinking and that is my closest way to get others to understand how absent my mind was for years!
I feel like the person I am today is the most authentic self I have ever come to know. When I hear stories of past version Jennifer’s, embarrassment and confusion are the strongest emotions felt. The current version of myself that is alive and well is definitely a work in progress, but someone who I would want to meet past versions of me and assure them of their developing process (like in the movies). As silly as that sounds, that was something I wanted so badly as a child and all the way through my teens was to be reassured that I would be okay after everything I experienced. I honestly still feel the need for that reassurance in my present life, except about bigger things than where I would eventually end up going to university, or when I would lose my virginity, whether I would date and who those people would be and where I would meet them. Although the dating part still rings true, my questions are now more career and lifestyle focused. Will I get to travel in my twenties, will I pay my student debt off, when will I meet people who will be in my life forever, will I move to Vancouver, will I have kids, and will I be good at what I do along with enjoying it? I know that I’ll be able to look back and laugh at myself for being so worried about the future, when I was so sure I was going to be successful. But when you are missing big parts of the equation like why and how and when and where and what, everything seems to cloud that assurance of success and happiness.
I tend to have better years when the numbers are odd, so I have very high hopes for 2017 and my 23rd year of life. I am so excited for what is to come. I normally start most years off with a prediction list, but I’ve decided to scrap that idea and let nature take its place. I’ve always believed that everything happens for a reason, and now especially after this year I am sure that one day those reasons will be understood and I have to stop rushing through things and sit back and enjoy the journey that I am on.