As we ring in the new year I always find it beneficial to look back and reflect on the one that has past. These are a few of my reflections. Hopefully you can identify with at least one and continue to reflect on how 2016 went for you.
Set Your Mind To It
I have accomplished a number of things in 2016, all of which I am very proud of, but nothing quite beats graduating from the University of Virginia with my bachelor’s degree. To say the least my road to graduation was not easy or conventional. As a varsity student athlete, time was never really on my side and taking 27 credits in one semester was not exactly the typical work load. If I ever doubted my abilities, accomplishing my goal to graduate from the University of Virginia in 2016 was a great reminder that I am a lot tougher than I think I am, but more importantly that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. There were many days that I thought it would not be possible. Many nights of writing papers at 3am that brought my sanity into question, but in the end I could see that things were working for my benefit.
Change Is Good
I have a love hate relationship with change. When it first happens I usually cannot stand it, especially if it wasn’t planned by me, but somewhere in between I realize just how amazing it is. Through the many changes I have encountered this year (graduating, moving across the country, traveling to Europe, going to graduate school, joining a new team, etc.) I have realized how each experience has shaped me as a person. With each change came an opportunity to grow and further my knowledge of myself and the people around me. Sometimes you have to let go of good to get to great. Change has helped me see that.
Family Is Valuable
I feel like I mention this every year and for good reason. Nothing beats family! After four years of varsity athletics and internships that have both granted me great opportunities but plenty of valuable time away from my family, I realize more-and-more each year how important they are to me. They are the people who know me best, have my best interest in mind, and will be there for me during good and bad times. They keep me grounded and I could not be more thankful for all that they have done for me over the years.
Struggles Are Necessary
While 2016 was a year of growth for me I have to say that growing, like change, isn’t always easy. There were so many times that I felt like I was struggling. Many things did not come easy and hard lessons were learned along the way. But I’m a firm believer in the fact that sometimes you need the struggle or hard lesson to toughen you up and truly get a point across. I feel that every obstacle thrown my way this past year was and is still preparing me for what God has planned for my future. For that I am thankful.
Know Your Worth & Boundaries
I feel like every year there is at least one defining moment that causes me to re-discover my self-worth. This year there were a couple and without getting into great detail, I advise that you listen to your gut. Just like knowing right from wrong, you know when you are going outside of your own boundaries or when people are crossing lines that you have put in place. Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself and to remove yourself from situations that others participate in. Ultimately, no one is going to look out for you like you will. Putting yourself first, understanding your own self-worth, and creating boundaries are key to maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself.
2016 was quite the year to say the least. With all the lessons learned, I welcome 2017 with open arms and with hopes that I can build on this past year.