Just one year ago I was swept up in the preparation for my 18th birthday party. Every day included contacting family and friends to confirm whether or not they would be attending my party. I had to iron out details with the bakery and the hotel in order to make sure that my dream party would be one that I would be proud of. There were appointments to schedule, people to contact, decorations to make, food to order… It was one year ago that I realized how much work a party actually is.

I recall the many moments of frustration and the very real moment when I broke out into tears at the dinner table, surrounded by my family. Undeniably, I’m a very controlling person. There is a certain level of expectation that I hold with everything, especially when it came to the one moment in my life I had spent many years looking forward to. It was in that moment that I learned that I can’t keep doing this to myself; I cannot constantly pile everything onto my own plate and expect to do them all. I learned to delegate, to trust my family, to remember that not everything needs to fulfill such a high standard when in the end all that matters is the people who come to help me celebrate my special day.

In addition to the pressures of keeping up with the party planning, I also had to prepare for my second semester of senior year. Winter break wasn’t much of a break since it included me scrambling to make sure all of my work for my AP classes was done while simultaneously confirming that everything I needed done for my debut by December and January was done before I had to go back to school. On top of my party and school work, there was also the last minute madness of submitting my college applications. I would manage to do my homework, however it was a struggle to push through with the last batch of college applications. There were many moments when I doubted the schools I had chosen to apply to, mainly because I was so sick and tired at that point and time. However, I pushed through, and fortunately enough because a few months later one of those schools in the last batch of college applications I sent in was the university I decided to attend in fall.

Reflecting on this time one year ago, it’s amazing I was able to make it through unscathed.

Yes there were tears and many, many moments of frustration, but this was a time that taught me so much about myself, and to remember that I’m not going through everything in my life by myself.

One year later, I’m having one of the most relaxing breaks on record, and I’m feeling extremely content with the life that I’m living. I genuinely believe that the last time I had this relaxing of a break was back in elementary school when the worries were simple and the problems were easily fixable. I’m thankful to have such a relaxing break especially after last year’s incredibly demanding time.

In this one year of life, there has been an insane amount of changes in my life, and everyday I wake up feeling grateful for the opportunities that God has graced me with. While not all of the experiences in my life have just dropped into my life, I’m also reminded to continue to work hard because at this point in time, complacency is an enemy.

I’m aware of the amount of changes that have developed in my life, and I’m thankful that they’ve helped me to grow into the person I am today because without those experiences I wouldn’t be the person I am today.




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