This year has probably been the more adult eye-opening experience of my life. Now, I am based in Guatemala! I have to say, my gap year before graduate school was the most eye opening year for me personally, but this year definitely topped it off to what it means to enter the adult world (career-wise), while still being in graduate school and working to pay for rent. Among some of the more entertaining things this year, I was offered my dream job twice (both times with different companies.) However, both times I was last minute traded off for someone with more experience. Yes, I cried both times. It was fan-tabulous.
Currently I am finishing up my Master's thesis which I am about to turn in. This year I also, surprisingly, stepped into my childhood dream of owning a dance studio and being a ballet teacher! This is something I thought would never ever happen because of the financial logistics and time it takes to be a good dance teacher (aka loads of work and little pay). I am actually starting an academic program as well for my ballet students, so we will see how that goes. Gosh - ballet is just such an amazing medium to be a positive influence in the lives of youth because it is so beautiful yet disciplined and focused. What else? Oh yes, this year I had my first kiss. Some people laugh in shock, but I am not embarrassed - I'm actually proud. I know it was kind of late compared to... well, most people my age, but for me it was perfect timing. God does not call us to follow others, he actually calls us to be "transformed by the renewing of your minds" and to follow HIM (Romans 12:2). For me, this meant sharing something like a first kiss with someone who held Christ as the center of his life, and with someone who would respect me not only as a woman and girl boss, but as a sister in Christ. Personally this year, I began to feel like my support system was changing and deteriorating because... well, people grow and change and sometimes it's important to let go. But alas, c'est la vie and I am so glad to still have people who love and support me in my life.
New Year's Resolutions for 2017 -- This year I am going to let go of negative and, with the help of new people God placed in my path, I am going to become more patient and loving. It's a long time coming, however, I am determined - with God's help! More concrete goals for 2017 are:
- Graduate with my Master's Degree,
- land my dream career (which is totally in the works),
- travel to Colombia to salsa dance (last thing on my bucket list),
- drink more water (I always say that),
- hike 9 volcanoes (because I live in Guatemala... so why not?),
- build a small community of ballet students and be a positive role model to my students and, as always,
- be used by God for his works.
Overall, I am ready to temporarily close my academic chapter in life, delve into the real world and learn what it's like to not live under the secure blanket of "being in the school system." I also want to learn to trust myself more - it is so easy to question everything, especially when everything is new (environment, people, ideologies...). I need to know that my identity is in Christ and that aside from that, I just need to keep going and being strong!
"So do not fear, for I am with you;
Happy New Years to all! If you got this far in my post, first of all, thank you for reading. hehe. I'd love to know: what was your biggest struggle, lesson learned and/or achievement from 2016... and what do you hope for 2017?
Blessings and Love,
Photo Credit: Ali Campbell