Thursday, February 11, 2016

a year in review | 2015

Being nearly 2 months into 2016, and having the Christmas/New Year hustle & bustle over, I thought it was about time to really reflect on what the past year has done for me! Where do I even begin with what 2015 was and what it meant?!

I went back in time and took a look at my 2015 New Year's Resolutions (you can take a look at them HERE, if you'd like!) The first thing that popped up onto the screen, when I opened the post was: This will be my year. As soon as I saw this, a smile grew from ear to ear on my face. Looking back in hindsight at all that 2015 was, I could definitely and by far say that, it was the best year of my life. That's a big statement to make but I can definitely say that with pride!

2015 has helped me grow in so many ways that I didn't even think were imaginable. There were so many changes that really helped shape me into the person I am today! I know that sounds silly. How can someone seem completely transformed after a year? I couldn't possibly tell happened and it happened to me. This year has been nothing but a blessing and I'm so fortunate to have had the year that I did. Despite this, 2015 was definitely not all rainbows and sunshine! My 2015 started off in a rut. Which sucked, but as unfavorable it was.. I think that this rut turned out to be a lesson. A valuable lesson. A lesson that changed my life for the better. 2015 taught me how to be independent. It taught me that I didn't have to depend on anyone else but me. This past year was really full of crazy changes, changes that included leaving a longterm relationship with someone that I had been with since high school. This was the best decision that I had ever made for myself. Leaving this relationship allowed me to realize the independence that I had in myself. In the 3.5 years that I was with this person and had lost myself, 2015 allowed me to find myself again. It allowed me to find the person I was. The person that I didn't get to develop in those crucial years between high school and the beginning stages of university. Leaving this relationship ultimately allowed me to really pursue my love to travel. It allowed me to travel to a place of old & refined love. This was Quebec City. This city, with its endless cobblestone, its tasteful architecture and its undying love language of french, had me wrapped around its finger. Oh, this city. I wouldn't trade the world for the knowledge I learned, the memories I made, and the life long friends that I met. Je me souviens.

With this firing passion to travel, in play, I had jetsetted to two different greek conferences over the summer. Both of which allowed me to learn so much about leadership and about myself. Of the two conferences I went to, AFLV LeaderShape really helped me realize the desire I had to want to succeed. It taught me to not be afraid of being ambitious and driven. AFLVs LeaderShape changed my life as much as leaving my past relationship did. I couldn't believe that a conference could teach me so much about leadership and how to take charge of my own life. A real shoutout goes to all those at AFLV for hosting LeaderShape! Cheers to the Lambda Class!

2015 really was the year of travel and I wouldn't have had it any other way. I got to go to places that I never dreamed of going to. During my time in Quebec, I took an 8 hour road trip all the way down to the Big Apple! New York was absolutely incredible and everything that I could've ever imagined. The city really never sleeps and traveling there solo really allowed me to feel the independent, working lifestyle that it exudes! LA and it's hot, relaxing and easy lifestyle reminded me of how much I loved the beach and the simplicity of just living life to it's fullest. The city is absolutely incredible if you really take the time to relax and take in it's beauty. Speaking of relaxing, and taking in beauty...San Diego was where I did much more of that. If you thought that LA had it all figured out..well you haven't seen the serene nature of San Diego with its nice lime bushes and it's beautiful running trails! And now, last but not least, Chicago - if my soulmate was a place, this would be it. Chicago has my heart in every which way possible. There is just something about it that pulls at my heart every time.

Travelling was a big part of my 2015, but so was school! I finally decided on the career path that I wanted to pursue. Now, I am really enjoying school, love the classes that I am taking and really feel the thrive to learn again. It's really crazy the difference of doing what you love can make. In addition to school, I also decided to take on a leadership role within my the National Panhellenic Council! You're looking at the 2016 Vice President External! I hope to do many things for my school in promoting Greek Life through the joys & fulfillment it can bring to student's University career. It will be great!

If I had a theme to label 2015, it would be growth. I feel that 2015 was a year of growth, not only did I leave a relationship, travel, and gain self-knowledge but I also took a big step in being more independent. I moved out! This was a big step that I think I needed to take for myself to fully bring out the potential I had to grow. After living in Quebec City, to study abroad, I realized what I could do and how I felt when I was living on my own. Being completely honest, I loved it so much. It gave me my own space, space which I didn't really have while living at home with my parents. Now, don't get me wrong. I absolutely love my family with all my heart. I love them so much, but sometimes...distance makes the heart grow fonder. With moving out, I am able to see all that they do for me more. I am able to appreciate all the things that they do as parents to make sure that I succeed.

Just when I thought that 2015 was going to wind down. I was taken on a turn that I didn't expect. A good turn. A turn that showed me that love never faileth. ;)

Now with old ends, comes new beginnings. You know what they say right? Good things come to those who wait. 2015 was full of personal growth, travel, happiness & so much more; and I hope that 2016 isn't anything less than that. I hope that in this upcoming year, I am able to continue to refine who I am and what I want to be.

I really have to give a BIG THANKS to all those that made this past year incredibleMerci!

2015 meant the world to me and I wouldn't have had it any other way! Here's to hopes that 2016 is even better!


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