2016 - Lessons Learned
2016 was a good year for me. 2015 was not: I fell to an extreme low with depression and anxiety that culminated in me heading for a career change so that I could manage my health better. I had only begun to come around in November 2015. 2016 felt like an actual fresh start.
Many big events happened in 2016. I started my first romantic relationship, I had an internship in a field I wanted to enter, went backpacking through Sydney, Australia and all of New Zealand, performed original research for a capstone project, and ended the year by completing a Master’s degree in Scientific and Technical Communication.
Every month in 2016 had a lesson to learn:
- In January, I learned that sometimes even if it seems like an opportunity will never happen, it can. I was hired for an internship I didn’t even think would exist.
- In February, I learned all about doing original research and Institutional Review Boards. Fun fact: review board are slow.
- In March, I learned that it’s OK to have hope. I wasn’t sure where a relationship with someone was heading, and, as I usually do, assumed the worse. My counselor managed to convince me that it was OK to let myself be a little optimistic, and for once I did.
- In April, I learned that I could be loved. Maybe it wouldn’t all work out, maybe it would, but at least I had a taste and knew it was possible.
- In May, I learned that Australians will send you down hundreds of steep, tall steps alongside a deep canyon filled with poisonous spiders and call the hike ‘mildly strenuous’.
- In June, I learned that jumping from city to city every few days is exhausting. While I’d previously dreamed of backpacking through Europe, I can’t imagine the stress of being in a different country every week. I prefer to move much slower.
- In July, I learned that living next to a railroad yard means hearing large crates drop and back up alarms all day and all night. Don’t do it.
- In August, I learned that the government still sends certain communication only via paper mail, which is a problem when you’ve been out of the country for three months. That’s how your health insurance lapses without you knowing it!
- In September, I learned that you should never have e-mail as your only contact method with the people you’re working on a group project with. It feels like talking to a wall.
- In October, I learned that Reddit exists and is a dangerous temptation. But I’ve learned so much from AskReddit, like how to fend off an immortal snail.
- In November, I learned what it’s like to try and enter a job field with no entry level positions. It’s fun. So fun. Help.
- In December, I learned that spending the hours after your last graduate school class learning how to jump a car, failing because the battery is dead, and driving your boyfriend home so he can call a tow truck may not be the celebration you expected, but that doesn’t make it a bad thing.
I have big, vague plans for 2017: I hope to get a job within my field, I’ll probably be moving, and who knows what else. Right now, I’m in a waiting place and it’s honestly scary; but, the future is always a big unknown. I’ll just have to see what happens.