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A Look Back at the Year 2017 | Notes by Alex

 

hen I look back at the year 2017, I can honestly say that it has been my worst year. Don’t get me wrong, I have had so many fun memories and great opportunities and experiences, but as I look back, overall it hasn’t been that great. Let me explain.

 

 

Self-Doubt and Feeling Lost

This year has been greatly full of self-doubt. The majority of my doubt came from my future and panicking about my career path. When I first started college, I had started out as a biology major on a pre-medicine track, by the end spring semester of my sophomore year, I was in full panic because I didn’t want to do medicine anymore. The truth was definitely eating up at me and I was feeling lost.

I had tried convincing myself that I could be creative working in medicine; there’s art in plastic surgery, or even handcraft in dentistry. But none of that worked. My love of art and creativity was a part of me that I couldn’t just push aside as a hobby. It had been my natural talent since childhood. I acquired a high interest in fashion and editorial design and all that technical creative work, so I switched and settled with business major with a marketing focus and minor in fashion retail studies in hopes of working in the fashion industry and owning my own business someday. What made it all bad was that I felt like I looked indecisive because I was unsure. But it wasn’t necessarily being unsure about what I wanted to do in life, it was the acceptance of it all. It was killing me to accept that my original life plan was falling through. As an African it’s stereotypical to become a doctor or engineer or any of all the conventional careers; so, going into something so unconventional definitely made me start doubting my ability for success.

Sure, it would be something I loved, so I knew that I would be successful regardless, but I couldn’t help but notice the tones in others when I say I want to go into the fashion industry while they’re all wanting to be doctors and others, as if it’s a blow off career path or as if it I’m not as intelligent, and that was skewing my mentality towards it all. But I’m fortunate enough to have loving parents who are supportive of any career path I wanted to choose and pushed me to always pursue my passions.

 

So, in the end I followed my dreams…

 

Stress

Handling stress is definitely something I tend to struggle with from time to time. But this year takes the cake for the most stressful year. The whole self-doubt and feeling lost in my career was definitely a big part of the stress. By your third year in college you would think that your life should be together. But obviously everyone’s path in life is different. Other stress came from dramas from situations and relations; some self-inflicted, some dragged into. Either way, I was definitely foolish to let myself get consumed in it all only for them to cause more problems.

Stress was also a little bit came from the fact that my family had moved out of the state and seeing them became less frequent. I went from them living an hour away to living miles away. I like hanging around my family, and I grew up hanging around them a lot. So, although I live with my sister, and I would visit the rest of my family whenever I could, it was hard going lengthy periods not seeing them in person and sometimes it would get lonely.

“Reason and Season” Relationships

As mentioned earlier, this year came with stress within relations. I really had to come to terms with myself of the concept of ‘reason and season’ relationships, because towards the end of the year it was becoming more apparent for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met a lot of good people and made a lot of good memories, but some bonds were definitely seasonal. In trying to deal with my own stuff, I definitely saw myself changing as I grew from experiences. And with change in yourself calls for need in change of atmosphere.

This year I truly do believe that the relations made in my life have been to learn lessons. And when times came to distance myself, I had to learn to accept that people grow apart, that’s just life.

 

Living for other people

I am definitely one to wear my heart on my sleeve and do what I can to please people. I would always try to fix my mistakes and problems, give explanations only to make things worse. It had all made me vulnerable to backlash and disappointment when expectations fell through because I would bend for other and not just live for myself; dwelling in negative energy just because it was familiar. It definitely was a hard pill to swallow, but I progressively moved away from the mentality and the changes came rolling in one by one. Changes for the better.

We are selfish by nature and I realized that deep down not everyone will not care about your well-being with the ability to drop you in a matter of seconds. So, learning to live for myself was essential or else I’d always fall.

 

Despite everything that’s happened this year, I have learned so many life lessons whether they came about from bad experiences or good ones. It’s all learning experience and I definitely learning a lot.

For the upcoming New Year, my theme is the year of the Self.

Self-love, Self-happiness, Self-living, Self-enhancement, Self-improvement, Self-thriving.

It’s my year to be humbly selfish; my year to live in my passion and dreams; to do what makes me happy; to strive for peace of mind and constant laughter; to say no when I don’t want to do things; to do what’s best for me!

 

I’m excited to see what the New Year brings!

 

Happy New Year and cheers to new beginnings!

 

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  • I loved this post! I relate to so much of it, especially the lesson learned about living for other people. I’m a bit of a people pleaser as well, I don’t like conflict but I also hate the idea of being a negative energy in someone else’s life. I too would try to make things better, only to make a situation worse. I realized 1. some things are better left alone and will get better simply with time and 2. I should not/cannot expect anyone to care about me and my wellbeing more than I care, so I should always ensure I’m watching out for myself before I stick my neck out for others. Because you can trust everyone is doing the same for themselves! I love your theme for 2018. I think mine is going to be about confidence in my voice and self-validation. I hope 2018 is a good one for you.

    Lots of Love,
    Lola

    • Glad you could relate! Definitely being more mindful of how much I stick my neck out for people! I love the theme of confidence and self-validation. It’s definitely something that takes time to achieve but is so rewarding once your’re able to be confident in your own skin!

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