The Year in Review: Jordan's Emotions

I started 2015 comfortable. On the floor of an apartment in Manhattan, in my pajamas and under blankets and with one of my best friends and pizza and the ball drop on TV. We stood on the balcony in the cold and watched people stumble, drunk and happy, up 2nd avenue after the clock struck midnight.

I spent 2015 scared. In New York and in DC. In Maryland and Massachusetts. Not always, but enough that I felt like I had something lurking in the back of my mind pushing me forward. The fear of stagnation can be a powerful motivator.

I’m ending 2015 cautiously optimistic. This year has felt like a year of development; new places, new people, starting my senior year of college, starting to make choices about where I want to go and who I want to be--- next year feels like a year of action; college graduation (finally), a job (I hope!) and all the new and scary things that come with starting the next stage of everything.

This has been a long year and a strange one, and one that I’m still processing. It feels like a year where I grew a lot, but also a year I realized how much growing I still have to do. A year where I made some good changes and also stalled out in some places, and through the mix-mash of 365 days, came out the other side still looking up.

I want to leave some of my fears in 2015. My fear of never living up to my own expectations or the expectations of others; that only makes me put unhealthy pressures on myself. My fear of rejection—I get so scared to reach out to other people when I need them that I suffer through in silence, even though rationally I know that there are people in my life who would love to hear from me. My fear of the future, and the ways that it’s unfolding, no matter how prepared or unprepared I feel.

I want to bring some of the things I’ve discovered about myself in 2016. My willingness to try new things and my willingness to go new places. My bleeding heart and my open mind. The things I’ve learned, and the things I have been conscious of needing to learn more about. The friends I’ve made in all of the places I’ve been, and all the places I’ve been where I’ve begun to learn a little more. I’ve found a lot this year. And I’m proud of that.

This year I’ve climbed mountains. I’ve sung songs around campfires and taken long bus rides where I’ve done nothing but listen to the same song on repeat for hours at a time. I’ve written words that I’m proud of and words that rereading makes me cringe. I’ve gotten good report cards and done horribly on biology tests. I’ve taken photos that I’m proud of, and spent much, much too much time with my head in the clouds. I’ve read a lot—fiction and non-fiction, long-form and newspapers, articles from friends and books my grandma sent me in the mail. I’ve gone to concerts and Broadway musicals and high school talent shows. I’ve tried new things, and not always liked the things I’ve tried. I’ve gotten better at saying “yes,” despite the fear and at saying “no,” despite the disappointment.

I think I’m ready for a new year. I’m not caught up in the idea that a new year is a new start, but it is a new milestone. I’m ready to carry over. To take all the things I’ve done and make them more. Make them bigger and better, and different in the ways I want them to be different.

So here goes. Here goes another year of all of that. Of the curiosity and the anxiousness and love and fear and all the emotions in between. I’m ready to feel (and experience) them all.

And on we go.

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