s i x t e e n

-2016-

Um, first of all… sorry I haven’t posted in over a month. I really lost track of time ever since going back to school from Thanksgiving break. Anyone who’s in college understands, the time from Thanksgiving to Christmas is just absolute grind time. So, I found my time/energy/creativity completely devoted to wrapping up my classes and finals. Then once I got back home I really didn’t feel like staring at a computer screen for a couple weeks, so I just took a break from the blog thing. No worries, I’ll start to post more regularly again now!

(sorry this post is a lot of text and no pictures, I have a lot of recent pictures from this year but not ones from the beginning of 2016 since my phone broke so I figured I just wouldn’t really put pictures at all)

I wanted to write a little something to wrap up my year of 2016. I feel like the general consensus for this year is that it sucked and everyone wants it to end ASAP. I can’t say I agree. I think 2016 has been one of the best years of my life for many reasons, but it’s also definitely time for me to move along to 2017 too. I don’t really believe in resolutions or “new year, new me” but if the new year is an excuse for me to leave some things behind in 2016 I think I’ll take advantage of it.

I honestly don’t think I’m ever going to forget this year. I’ve changed so much more as a person than I ever thought I could in such a short period of time. I honestly feel like I’ve accomplished so much and I’ve done a complete 360 (for the better) within this past year. When I think back on the year, for some reason I always think to a tarot card reading that I received during the summer. I went to get this reading right in the middle of everything changing around for me, and it really reassured me that I was moving in the right direction for my life. This was a 3 card reading, so she split it into past, present, and future. Looking back on it, I see these as representing the beginning, middle, and end of 2016.
tarotcards

The picture above are the three cards that I pulled- III of cups, the world, and judgement. The tarot card reader (her name is Ashley, she’s the best) first told me that the world- the “present” where I was at the time of the reading- is practically the best card you can get. She said it meant that I felt whole, like everything had finally come together, and I finally felt complete and fulfilled, at the peak of happiness and it was just like everything was going right in my life. I agreed completely. I hadn’t really ever been so happy before, and everything was going so great for me that summer. Everything was right, the world was mine.

She then said that the III of cups card- my past- symbolized that there were things holding me back in the past. I was stuck or held behind by people, places, and ideas that weren’t truly inspiring me. The three birds represented those things that were stopping me from reaching my full potential (the world). I look at this card as the beginning of 2016. I felt held back by a lot of old people, old ideas, old places for a long time. I had been dealing with anxiety and stress that made me physically ill, and some of the things I was doing with my life and people I was with at the time weren’t making those things any better. I started out the year as a Biochemistry major, thinking I wanted to transfer to pharmacy school. I didn’t feel like I fit in at Siena but I didn’t know if I would fit in at pharmacy school either. I was sad, uninspired, feeling lonely and stressed out all the time. I didn’t feel like I was going in the right direction with my life. I was consumed by my workload at school, and I didn’t even like it much. I was chasing dreams that weren’t mine, trying to convince myself to be a person I wasn’t. There was no balance in my life, no room for fun or creativity that I was in desperate need of.

It wasn’t until the end of my freshman year (around April 2016) that all this started changing for me. I started meeting some new people and forming new relationships with wonderful friends and I finally started feeling like I was fitting in. The friends I made around this time remain my best friends at school right now, and I love them so much. I finally have a group of people that I feel that I belong with and that really care about me and they want the best for me, and I can’t say I’ve always had friends like that, so I’m forever grateful for them. I decided at this point to forget pharmacy school and stay at Siena, which is a decision I am so thankful for.

As a result of meeting new people, I ended up finally cutting a lot of relationships that hadn’t been good for me for a while. It’s not easy to do this, but I really feel like it was what I had to do to get rid of so many negative aspects of my life. Those birds on the tarot card, that were holding me back, I had to let go. Ashley  told me that is what the “future” card, judgment, symbolized. I was that white bird, flying above all of the others at the bottom of the card that had been holding me back. I didn’t have any guilt in cutting some people out of my life and starting fresh with new things, it just felt right. The new people I was meeting were encouraging me to change my life around for the better.

As summer began, I became more adventurous. I discovered my love for mountains and waterfalls and road trips (Bash Bish s/o to you). I decided to finally switch my major over to English (and got a lot of “I told you so’s” from basically everyone about it). I started making more art. I started loving good music again. I decided to become more dedicated to the club that I am part of at Siena, Her Campus. I started to pursue my love of fashion and art again.
I fell in love with a person, like, really hard. I thought I knew what love was before that, but I quickly realized I really didn’t. This was new, and that’s exciting and scary all at once. I then learned that same love can hurt, A LOT, when things don’t work out in your favor– that came a little later though.

It all happened so quickly, but I had learned so much in a few months. My anxiety was thousands times better. I wasn’t nearly so stressed anymore. I didn’t feel sick every single time I ate anymore. My skin started clearing up after a many-year battle with acne. I was finally bettering myself in almost every way possible, I was happy, and I felt like I was finally being the best me. The world was in my hands for once in my life.

Now the part of 2016 that I’m currently wrapping up- the “future” card in my tarot reading- is the part that’s the most bittersweet. I’ve had to come to terms that even though I don’t feel quite as happy and complete as I did this summer, things are still going in the right direction for me. Maybe I’m not feeling like “the world” anymore, but that doesn’t mean things are going down from there. I’ve faced a lot of ups and downs in the past months and things that I needed to overcome and learn from. I learned that some people and things had come into my life and then they needed to leave too, and that’s hard if they made you happy at one point and you don’t want to let that go. I still have a lot more “letting go” to do in my life, which is really hard sometimes. But I’ve started to really believe that everything happens for a reason, you meet everyone for a reason, and sometimes that reason is to help you realize things about yourself that you wouldn’t have otherwise. And for that I am grateful for every person and place I encounter along the way.

In the past couple months, I realized that switching to an English major with a Writing and Communications minor was the best decision I could have ever made. I went back to Siena this semester as a whole new person, in a good way. I closed up the semester with a 4.0 GPA, which I’m so proud of. I started this blog, which is something I’ve been wanting to do for YEARS, and I’m happy with where it’s headed. I’ve become closer to some wonderful friends who I love so dearly and I am so, so grateful to have in my life. I’ve finally learned to have some fun at college with my friends. I got a position I had been dreaming of, Campus Correspondent (kind of like co-president) of Her Campus, and I can’t wait to take that on next year. I’ve become a lot more interested in photography, and I just got a new camera so I’m really excited to learn more about that. I’ve been reading and writing and thinking creatively a lot more.

Most of all, I’ve learned what things are worth keeping in my life and putting effort into and what things aren’t. I realized that I can make my life what I want it to be, I can go wherever I want, be whoever I want, spend my time with whoever I want, and if something isn’t inspiring me, I can just let it go.

thank you 2016 for being pretty cool and especially wild. 2017, please be even cooler and wilder.

(if you actually read this whole thing, PLEASE tell me because you’re the best person ever, and thanks for caring.)

happy new year!

xoxo,

emma

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