Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

I like it when January 1st hits and we have a new year. I'm completely ready to start using my new planner, which I buy months in advance anticipating all the new artwork and blank pages to fill with plans and goals and hopes and dreams (no, seriously - my new planner is adorable and feeling neglected - thankfully it's time to use it). Is it a little silly that we wait until the 1st to start resolutions and vow to complete our bucket list and chop all our hair off and move halfway across the world..? Yes, obviously it is. We all know it is. If you want to make a change in October, you should just make it. But that doesn't stop the new year from feeling like it's got so much promise. 

Although, this new year doesn't feel so much promising as it does terrifying. 2016 is not 2014 or 2015. (I know what you're thinking - yes, obviously! Only on her second paragraph and she's clearly lost it!) In 2014, I knew (essentially) what was going to happen - I was going to leave for Moldova in June. I'd spend half the year at home preparing in a million ways and the other half in another country, training and learning a language and settling into my new home. In 2015, I knew (essentially) what was going to happen - I was going to spend the entire year in Moldova, working on different things and making new friends and being only the greatest PCV my village has ever seen (sorry Heath and Julia, don't worry, they still talk about you guys too). 

But 2016? Half the year is still a mystery. Yes, I'll be in Moldova until at least July, which admittedly covers a lot of it. I'll finish up my last big project (Lord willing), hang out with some kids and teach them a word or two in English, travel a little bit, prepare myself to leave, cry a lot, have some heart-to-hearts over too much coffee (if there is such a thing), touch some lives, save the world - the usual. But then what? What happens after that? When I ring the bell - and when am I ringing that bell?? - that signifies our Close of Service.. THEN WHAT. It's blank. Those last 5 months of 2016 - what is going to happen? I honestly feel surprised that my new planner HAS those months included - don't they know that I don't know what goes in them? That I can't fill in those pages? That I can't predict that future? (Besides the crying. We know I'll do that anywhere.) I do know that I'll be going home, which I'm really excited about, because mi-e dor de casa. 

While I casually panic about next year, let's talk about the one that just ended. Because I did this last year and it was fun. 

In 2015, 

  • I spent: 12 months in Moldova. My whole year as a PCV. Yes, I did leave the country a few times, but I lived here this whole time. Holidays on holidays, training new volunteers, meeting new people, summer camp, firsts, lasts, speeches, toasts, grand openings, tears, coffee, wine on wine on wine... And on that note, while not 2015-specific, I've been here a total of 576 days now. 
  • I wrote: 32 blog posts here at Wining & Whining. I wrote a lot more than that during just the last half of 2014, so I'm assuming that means I was doing more actual work.. Or that I got lazy? Nahhh, doubt it. Most popular was the Penguin Dance! But I'm pretty sure that's because my dad watched the video about.... roughly a million times. He's probably 80% of the views on that video on YouTube, so.. Second place goes to A Year Of Days, which is possibly my favorite of the year, written at my one year anniversary with Moldova. (I mean, I love Moldova, but I don't think she's the one. It's one of those relationships that had a time limit from the beginning, like when you start dating at the end of senior year, or right before doing something ridiculous like joining the Peace Corps. But it's been nice while it's lasted. I think we've got a few more good months in us.) 
  • I read: 50 books/14,399 pages, the most I've ever read in a year. My favorite of the year was If You Find This Letter. Honorable mentions go to Modern Romance, As You Wish, Sisterhood Everlasting. Truly there are too many honorable mentions, so these are really just the most recent favorites. 
  • I traveled: 12,832 miles by plane (roughly). Including airports, I've been in 6 countries in 2015. I took trips to Italy and to the U.S., the latter of which included a road trip from Virginia to Wisconsin and back! Rutiera travel isn't even going to be part of this equation.. I would just start thinking about how many hours I've spent on minibuses and might just lose my mind.
  • I filled: 1 journal full of daily happenings and drawings and thoughts and love stories and heartbreak and gratitude. I'm on journal #3 for Peace Corps and hope to finish that one soon, too. 
  • I turned: 25. Now I'm a quarter century of amazing. 
  • I built: a park, a life, some friendships.
I had life-changing experiences and trips and sunrises. I fell in love roughly 365 times or so. I've accomplished more than I thought I could, but still spend some days feeling like I haven't done anything. I've stayed out all night and made questionable decisions and continued to live with all this passion and emotion right at the surface of my interactions with people. I've wanted to quit and I've wanted to stay extra. I've met people that have changed my life, some through pushing me to greatness and others through making me feel like I'm less than great. I've done a lot of solo dancing and solo dinners and solo hours-long walks through the city - and I've gone weeks without any alone time at all. Sometimes I don't do anything for days and other times I fit so much living into such a small amount of time that I don't even know what's happened. 

In 2016,

  • My theme for the year is going to be honesty. 2015's theme was optimism, which I think worked out pretty well for me. Now I want it to be honesty. I met someone this year who I thought was going to play a different part in my life than they ended up playing. Spending time with them taught me how valuable honesty can be. And honestly, that person isn't part of my life anymore. But I've taken some lessons from our friendship that I am keeping around, and expressing myself in exactly the ways I want to and believe in is one of them. But don't ask me if that dress makes you look fat. 

This year, I've worked really hard. And occasionally it's been really hard. But it's also often been really great. I think I can always look back at 2015 and be proud of myself for the things I did this year. The unknown of 2016 is scary, but it's also kind of exciting. And it's here whether or not I want it to be, so I might as well jump right in. 

I spent the last night of 2015 with great friends, fireworks, lights, and a whole lot of sparkles, so if that's any indication of how 2016 will be, I feel like I'm ready. 

La mulți ani înainte!

No comments:

Post a Comment