A stream of consciousness with little editing and parsing.
It was common for everyone to look back on 2016 and deem it a terrible year. From celebrity deaths to the impending doom of the United States in the hands of alt-right white supremacists, 2016 was a year to forget for a lot of people.
I've had my ups and downs this year - more downs and deeper troughs than up - but I look back on this year with one thought:
2016 was one of the shittiest years I've experienced in quite some time, but I wouldn't change a thing about it.
Through the struggles came an opening into a deeper understanding of purpose and sense of self. And while I went through times of heartache, the personal growth that came out of it was profound.
The year started with pain. A journey across Europe and Asia was set up in hopes to find direction, but only found sadness and confusion. Questioning, doubt, longing. The struggle to make a hope a reality never came through. January 1, 2016: sitting in a loud bar in Hong Kong in Wan Chai, among a sea of jubilant and loud partiers.
I was in the corner of that dive bar; beer and cocktail residue lining the floor so that your shoes couldn't get off the ground without that sticky, velcro-like reaction.
I was at the corner of that dive bar; staring at my two plastic cups of whiskey and coke, cigarette on the other hand.
I was at the corner of that dive bar; chain smoking and drinking, looking for an escape and some sort of solace.
It wasn't there.
I was in the last semester of Business School - I should have been enjoying it. But all I wanted to do was curl into a ball of self-wallowing. Not a pretty sight.
My year was filled with moments like these. I had hoped to embark on my own Eat, Pray, Love journey to find some sense of direction and meaning:
- January: Hong Kong, Mammoth Lakes
- February: San Francisco, San Diego
- March: Shanghai, Las Vegas, New York
- April: Miami, San Francisco, Las Vegas
- May/June: Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taipei
- Continue to grind it out, roll with the punches
- Keep on fighting and you'll get what you pursue
- You'll find that everything you try to "plan" for will inevitably not go according to plan. All you can do is make yourself open to opportunity
- At some points in your life, you need to stop beating yourself up.
- I am so incredibly lucky to have the friends that brought me up this year when I was down