While the end of every year is a time of celebration and reflection, there are also moments that things didn’t work out as planned. By sharing some of my worst moments in 2016, it’s not meant as a time to vent or dwell on the unfortunate circumstances of the year. My purpose of sharing these moments is to show that no one has a perfect life and that there is always something to learn from these moments. At times it seems that it when it rains, it pours and sometimes you forget to look around and step on a cactus. However, I’ve found we’re constantly being tested to see what we can learn and how we can become stronger. A few of these unfortunate moments I experienced in 2016 include some lessons below:
- Sometimes you’re stuck no matter how hard you try, as my family found in Costa Rica. In search of a beach near Tamarindo for snorkeling, a large group of my family members jumped into a van for a daytime adventure. Unfortunately, we decided to venture onto a sandy track. Our car didn’t have four wheel drive, so when we tried to reverse off the pathway, we got stuck in the sand. A pair of American expats tried to help but ditched us. Eventually, locals and other travelers came to our rescue. All of us tried pushing, creating a platform with sticks and adding water to make the sand into stiffer mud, but nothing worked. Two men who had stopped to help had a strap connecting our van and another car to help pull us out. When that didn’t work, a truck came by and was able to pull our van out of the sand using the strap connected to our van. Lesson learned: Don’t be hesitant help those who are stuck, because with assistance from others you can always achieve more.
- Living at home = Great for saving money. Finding stuff to do in my hometown = Difficult. Although I haven’t always loved moving every few months, I always looked forward to researching new places to explore. Wherever I planned on temporarily living for an internship or job, I was always eager to create a Google Map and list of places to see on my days off. Although Southern Utah has amazing scenery, at times I found fewer places to mark on my Google Map. However, expecting to be in one place for a longer time than usual encourages me to look to nearby towns and cities to find places that I hadn’t thought to look at before.
- Challenges ahead may appear smaller than they actually are. Yes, I have reflected on my first semester at graduate school a great deal, but that’s because it has become a huge influence on my view of the world. While I rely on travel, culture, and ethical fashion to shape my world views, graduate school has added to these experiences and shown me how much my blogging topics have intertwined with my graduate school classes. Even though I was eager to learn, I can’t deny that my classes left me with more white hairs and occasional tear-filled moments of: “What did I decide to do with my life?!?” Many late night phone calls were spent with friends asking them for advice, trying to decipher mid-terms. I didn’t expect it to be an easy path, but my education presented challenges I didn’t anticipate or perceive. Now I can’t look at a company without seeing if it has a clear mission statement, thinking on how it developed specific pricing strategies, and how the company can encourage customers to give to their cause. After years of contemplating different careers and spending extensive time in costuming and ethical fashion, I am much more confident about what’s next as my love of photography, writing, and more being to overlap.
My difficult moments of 2016 have ranged from unexpected visitors and challenges as well as struggles to figure out what to do with my occasional restlessness. Looking ahead to 2017, it’s clear there will always be unforeseen circumstances. However, there isn’t any better way of learning than to encounter situations you don’t expect. Luckily, I haven’t accidentally stepped on any cacti yet.
What have the challenges of 2016 taught you?