Updated usually on Mondays and/or Thursdays!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

LAST thursDAY. Adios 2015!

TAKEAWAYS FROM 2015. Real Talk.

Happy LAST thursDAY of 2015! I'm overwhelmed and flooded with mixed emotions but also very much at peace. I would compare 2015 to a growing pain. I've grown a lot this year, but geeeez...it was painful sometimes. Frankly speaking, I spent the majority of this year entirely focused on the future. I did "live in the moment", but I also was constantly worried about the next step in line. I'm looking back at how I lived 2015 and really what resonates more than anything is the juxtaposition of doubt and hope that pushed me and webbed everything in my life.

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When I think back to 2015 a couple years from now, the memories that will probably stick out the most are getting my driver's license, finishing high school tennis and mock trial, writing my college essays, living in Boston, hearing Sonia Sotomayor, going to my first concert, and getting into college. I'd say that's a pretty solid year. But dang, 2016 is going to be epic. It's bewildering when I think about graduating, not living with my parents, moving into an entirely new environment, meeting new people, and being far away from longtime friends and teachers. At the same time, I'm looking forward to just embracing it. Change is a learning curve, and in the end, I'll only learn a bit more about myself.

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Thank goodness for dear friends who don't mind spending all night talking me, supportive parents who keep pushing me, teachers who understand me, and my God who has ceaselessly teaches me. I have learned so, so much about trust and faith this year. I am very conscious of the fact that I am truly a lucky and blessed person. Given the wonderful opportunities I've had and will have, it is my responsibility to work my very hardest with good intentions.

I keep repeating these questions to myself. How can I become a person with a generosity of spirit and depth of character? How can I be connected to the deepest meanings of life and my highest moral joys? Those are tough questions, but they are truly essential to who I want to be and what I want to do in the future. I have no idea what the future will look like because everything always turns out so magically different from what I imagine...but man, there are going to be awesome adventures and stories ahead.

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Happy 2016!


Hi everyone! Diana here. I don't write often on this blog, obviously, as photographing and editing photos take quite the amount of time. But when I do write, I'm generally very excited to do so.

Not so much this time.

I've read five 2015 reflection posts already yesterday and today combined, and what marvels me the most is how people condense a year into paragraphs. Because I don't know how to. And I'm not sure I want to.

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The only thing I remember vividly is June to August: Prom, hiking, China. I remember them because they mean something to me: time spent doing something I love with those I love. Beyond that, I remember nearly nothing. Every moment of these past few years have been staccato beats threatening to topple over on stilted feet: wobbly, relentless, scathing. Yes, I'm ridiculously lucky and privileged; I've had opportunities that even the me a few years ago wouldn't have dreamed of. But I'm also ridiculously upset at myself because in grappling for my goals I've erased myself. My memories are sharp-edged but punched through in the middle. They are monochromatic with bursts of vibrant colors I don't know how to handle. I spent so much time just doing, doing, doing that I cannot recall many concrete moments with their nuances and shadows. It's like I've been sitting inside a car speeding along the highway, and my life has blended into the trees that whizz by, so that in reflecting, all I can see are blurs of peaks and valleys but I cannot pinpoint where one begins and one ends.

picture from this post; a time spent teaching that I will forever remember, in contrast to the months I spent buried in books and computers
To concisely reflect, I think, requires one to be distinctly aware. Not doing that is my biggest regret this year. I preach meditation, but I didn't do enough of it this year. And that angers me. Because that means I missed out on opportunities to grow this year. After all, it is in the breath between fury and serenity that we collapse into a more vulnerable self, and it is as that self that we can choose to either carve around us shells or to reflect so that our vulnerability is no longer a weakness but a strength. It's okay that I didn't reflect enough this year, though. I realize it now. I won't let it happen again.

I guess if I had to say what I learned this year--after all, is that not what these posts are for?--it's that I'm tired. I'm tired of the injustice that burns in this world, I'm tired of how ceaseless work can drive you insane, I'm tired because there comes a point in your life when you must ask yourself why, and though it's perfectly fine to not know the answer, when I know the answer, and I know what I've spent so long doing is not really achieving much for that answer, that is tiring.

So I only have one goal for myself: do.

picture from this post; the ocean is always an inspiration: the water pushes on, even when the sun is gone--especially when the sun is gone
Not just do for academics. I know how to do that. I've spent so long doing that. But do dream, do create, do find power in disillusionment. Because even though I'm disillusioned--I learn so I can help, but so much of what I spend so long learning, I cannot use to help, because I'm trapped in a system that forces me to keep churning away at the same textbooks when all I want to do is get out there and do something with what I know, and all the service I am doing right now is not enough, I can do more so I will do more--I can use that to light a fire beneath my feet.

Because in 2016, I'm rocketing.

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