me --- as true to myself as I could ever be.
During my last few minutes of being seventeen, I figured I'd reflect on my seventeenth year of life, because a lot happened. A lot.
The over-arching theme of the year was understanding that everything, everything happens for a reason. Everything.
I started off my seventeenth year of life with a prime example of everything happening for a reason ---- I failed my driver's test. I don't know what came over me, maybe it was a wave of maturity or the influence of +shaycarl, but I kept telling myself that I wanted to think positively --- to choose happiness. So that day, I fought my internal urges to dwell on the negative, on what was consuming my thoughts. Through the people around me at the time, I was able to make the best of the situation and enjoy that day the best I could. That night, I wrote "hopefully i'll be able to choose to think more like a seventeen year old when times are rough in the future. today, i'll let myself look up to who i was yesterday and try to be better with the time that i have left today. i can't promise anything, but i will try. really really hard. cause i really really want to." That was the beginning of my journey to finding/acknowledging & cherishing the meaningful relationships in my life, and the rest of that year has truly been centered on that journey. Aside from the petty (yet anxiety inducing) event of failing my driver's test, I was faced with immense academic stress, the self-inducing mental torture of frustration after being deferred/given a transfer option to my dream school, the loss of people in my life whom I thought were life-long friends, the death of my beloved grandfather...
Seventeen was full of rollercoasters, but I kept consciously reminding myself that everything is meaningful --- there's a reason why things happen, and I just had to find that reason. At the same time, I began to identify the meaningful relationships in my life, and those same individuals became the crutch that I leaned on for support throughout it all. Texts from my best friends and role model a few hours after my grandfather passed, messages from my best friends across the country cheering me on throughout the college admissions process, endless hugs and chats with my favorite teachers on off/bad days (whom I am fortunate enough to still be in contact with --- texting them last night from thousands of miles away as if we're family, just catching up), releasing all of my pent up frustrations and finding my highlight of the day during my drive home from school with my brother, receiving endless support from my cousins as I began college, and endless, endless support with whatever I do from my parents, who advise, critique (though I am always stubborn and hesitant to receive criticism), and affirm when necessary. Seventeen proved to me that I don't need to have a million and one casual friends to feel accomplished and good about myself. Seventeen reminded me that these meaningful relationships are all I need to get through life, and it inspired me to seek more meaningful relationships, because that's what excites me.
I'll reserve the process of recounting everything that's happened for a New Years Eve post, but in general, I've learned a lot from being seventeen, and I don't think I've ever felt "a year older" (well, almost --- T minus 13 minutes) until now, as I'm looking back on everything that's happened. I'm unsure about what the "theme" for year eighteen will be, but I'll figure it out as I go along, and maybe I won't even realize it until next year ;) Right now, I can't be more excited about what's to come (aside from the homework) and more grateful for my support system and the people who I've gotten closer to here already.
Here's to seventeen years :)
Eighteen, bring it on.
P.S. Again, forgive me for any random misspellings/grammatical errors. It's 11:52 pm, and we all know that my normal functioning hours lie between 8 am - 10 pm.