I think reflection is essential for growth. I think if we really want to do better, be better, and achieve greater, we need to look back on our past and see what has and has not worked. I think nostalgia can be good – whether old photos or memories bring you back to a specific moment or help you remember a distant feeling. These are all things that help us feel alive, and like our existence is something really special (which, if you didn’t know, it 100% is).
Another thing reflection does for me, it helps with my memory. I have a funny memory where I can completely blank out about what happened over the weekend, but a particular scent can bring me back to a memory to a particular restaurant in a far off country on some trip I took a year ago. I’ve realized my brain tends to be quite particular with what it chooses to remember. While this can be useful, my brain also tends to forget the “hard stuff”. I think it’s important to reflect over the past anyways, because I am always up for a lesson in what I could have done better (and now will do better)…
Here are some highlights for me. The beginning of a new year always bring promise of opportunities, excitement, and new adventures. Let’s use our reflection of 2015 to help let that come true.
- spent New Years Eve in Amsterdam
- ate Belgium waffles with my brother in Brussels
- watched the Eiffel Tower light show
- kissed Victor Noir’s grave (promising I would find the ‘love of my life’ within the year)
- explored the Swiss Alps
- experienced life as a blind person at the Invisible Exhibit in Budapest
- visited four concentration camps including Auschwitz and Birkenau
- celebrated my 23rd birthday in Berlin!
- fulfilled my lifelong dream of going to Norway (and saw fjords!)
- went to Harry Potter World in London
- ate haggis for the first time (and didn’t hate it!)
- returned to Canada and within two hours was accepted into my first choice masters program
- had the opportunity to live in beautiful Canmore, Alberta for two weeks
- moved to Calgary all by myself
- moved in with my male best friend
- experienced the long draining sensation of unemployment
- saw my extended family (after ten+ years) for my aunt’s birthday in Canmore
- took my Dad horseback riding in the Rocky Mountains
- graduated from my undergraduate degree in Kinesiology
- finally was hired to work at a local famers market!
- met, and fell in love with an Australian over the internet (yes, I know, it’s crazy)
- went to Edmonton with my mom and found the perfect place to live.
- bought my plane ticket to Australia for Christmas 2015
- enjoyed times with friends, time at work, and time at the gym
- drove to Vancouver in one day to see Taylor Swift in concert, and then drove back to Calgary the next day (so, basically 2000km in total – and totally worth it!)
- of course had the obligatory sushi of Vancouver as well
- things ended with the Australian – unexpectedly but on the most honest of terms
- I moved to Edmonton by myself
- experienced the longest (10 hours!) and most exciting orientation of my graduate degree
- started my graduate classes and met an incredible amount of passionate and amazing people
- I met B, an aspiring physiotherapist
- experienced the best brunch of my life (see above)
- started experiencing a variety of symptoms: extreme fatigue, hair loss, inability to concentrate, lack of motivation….
- cancelled my ticket to Australia
- I started working at Lululemon!
- went to Vancouver over reading break to visit my best friends
- took a solo trip to Victoria for one day of good food, large bookstores, and amazing coffee
- went to a naturopath who finally diagnosed my symptoms as adrenal fatigue – started adrenal supplements
- finished my first semester of grad school!
- officially started dating B (the third time asking is the charm!)
- spent Christmas Eve and day in Canmore with my parents (snowshoeing and doing yoga)
- ending the year with a wedding of two amazing people I know through YoungLife
2015 has been hands down one of my most exciting, thrilling, and fulfilling years. Not only did I accomplish a lot, I achieved goals I had honestly not thought I could handle (but thank goodness I still went for it!).
So as this year finishes up, and we start the next, I want you to ask yourself a couple questions. What worked for you this year? What went right? What do you want to accomplish in 2016? Think about some of these answers as we head into a new year, and a new beginning for us to get things right.