We said goodbye to 2016 nine days ago.
My 2016 was a hectic one, to say the least. After my internship year in 2015, I thought I would finally get some time for myself as I’d have more free time.
I was optimistic.
Yes I did have more time in my hands (evidenced by all the TV series I finished in Netflix), but I felt even more tired, and even more drained. 2016 was the first year that I was officially not a student anymore, after possibly more than 20 years of my life!
20 years of being a student!
Well, I am not discounting the possibility of me going into PhD…
Anyway, I only had that realization at work today. Today was my first day back at work. I read an article recently from the New York Times that said that people who had aged really well (i.e. had brains like healthy 20 year olds), were those who never stopped learning or working hard. At first I thought, that was me, I loved learning, so I shouldn’t be concerned.
But then I thought, was I really still learning? Or had I just mastered the art of studying? I had been a student for 20 plus years… even if the material I was trying to learn became more complex, the actual method of studying and learning the new material may have already been easy for me because well, I’ve been doing it for such a long time. And I aced it every time.
This may explain why I was feeling lost last year. After graduating, I didn’t know who I was. The Working Girl Me was foreign. At times, painful. I discovered I had very little personal hobbies (does Netflix count as a hobby?). And trying on new things was difficult!
There was one line from the article I read about the super-agers though that struck a cord with me: “You must expend enough effort that you feel some ‘yuck’. Do it till it hurts, and then a bit more.”
As I look back on 2016, despite the challenges, I couldn’t have been prouder of myself. I took off my Student identity and put on an entirely new Working Girl outfit. I moved out of my parents’ house, which may or may not have been beneficial, but what the heck, I had decided, and I’m sticking to my decision. Finally, I made another big decision with my partner, which sways from the traditional path that many take. It’s scary, and it took a lot of discussions, but I believe that I also thought long and hard about it, and decided ultimately, that it is worth taking a risk with him. Fingers crossed for the both of us!
I didn’t spend enough time developing my new identity last year. But that’s a learning I’ll take. This year I have a chance to learn something new, through opportunities at work. The epiphany came this morning- training myself in this new practice did indeed made me feel ‘yucky’. But I have to believe that it’s only yucky at first, so I will persevere.
Happy 2017! 🙂