Dear December ('16)

It was like I blinked and you were over.

You were a month of endings, new beginnings, making plans and taking a moment to stop. You signalled the end of a five year routine and were a time for me to realise it's up to me to make new plans now.

This new year is unlike any other for me. I told myself and everyone else I was happy to have a year to just relax and unwind, yet I then went and attempted to do everything in my power to not have that happen. However it seems the universe wouldn't have it.

You taught me to accept that sometimes what you think you need to do isn't what you should do. You reminded me of my belief that everything happens for a reason.

November gave me probably the most stressed month of my life I've ever experienced. As my five year degree came to an end, a five year routine that I'd become accustomed to and came to rely on as showing me what I was going to do with my life for the next year, as I realised I had no major plans for the next year in front of me, combined with focusing on making sure I passed what I had left to do, things felt overwhelming. Not only is not knowing what I'll do in the year ahead an odd feeling for me, but so to is stress a foreign feeling.

The beginning of you brought much of the same, but as the days rolled by I began to accept and slowly feel more at peace. With the peace came a clearer mind to think about what I wanted to do with this free time, however long it lasts.

There is no telling what will pop up tomorrow, in a week from now or even months from now, that will change the path I'm taking and change the direction I thought I was going, but until that happens, here's my simple ideas for 2017.

For five years I focused much of my energy on pure academics; I had other interests but they were never given enough attention for me to truely learn and grow them. With the textbooks out of the way for the most part, it's time for me to give them more attention.

While I will be doing a Masters in journalism, choosing to do so via online, distance education means it won't be such an overwhelming force as previous studies were.

It's time to devote more attention to writing, to taking pictures, to other creative outlets, and to me. It's a time to focus on not worrying so much about the fact I might not be following some concrete path to help me get to some predetermined end, it's a time to realise I only think that's the right thing to be doing because society makes us think that it is. When you do that, you increase the potential of missing out on your true passions in life, your true meaning for being here, and worst of all, you can miss the chance to be truely and completely unapologetically happy.

It's time for me to tackle the fear of travelling solo, even if it is just within my own country.

December, you were a month of nothing concrete, but instead were a month of me sitting in my mind and figuring out where my focuses will go from here. While you may have felt a bit like a 'nothing' month, for lack of a better term, you were probably the most important.

What's your opinion?

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