It’s that time of the year. It only comes once. The one-month span where everyone’s like “New year, new ME!” all over your social media feeds.
Shut up. Get real. Y’all woke up the same on January 1st as you did on December 31st.
Except you might’ve had a little more of a hangover that day.
Then there’s the whole “new year resolutions” cliche too.
If you ask me, these ideas that come with the new year are actually just filled with PRESSURE. 2017 sucked (for myself), more or less, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to slave my mind over making 2018 the greatest year that ever happened. You can’t plan a year. You can barely plan tomorrow. Nothing is ever guaranteed. So instead of trying to make 2018 the best year of your life, try to make TODAY, this MINUTE, the best.
Here’s a long, long, yet still abridged story of my life the past 5 years. My proof as to why you can’t plan shit these days.
I grew up making plans for myself. Plans that I thought I could see being accomplished as clear as day. I wanted to be a dancer – go to college for dance, open my own studio, perform on big stages with professional companies… OKAY… So the first part happened. I went to college for dance back in 2012. The master plan I’d had since the age of 5 was officially on its way.
Remember how I just said “you can barely plan tomorrow?”
One month into my college career as a dance major, I fractured my ankle. Who needs ankles to dance?! Oh yeah, everyone. So that sucked.
A month later after I recovered and was back in the studio, my grandmother passed away 3 days before Thanksgiving. I found out over a phone call and was the only grandchild who didn’t get to say goodbye.
Let the depression strike – round 1.
I came home from school and told my mom I wasn’t sure if I wanted to return. I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to dance anymore. My heart just wasn’t in it. This was a shock for EVERYONE, including myself. I ate, slept, breathed dance. My mom tried to pick me up and tell me to take on second semester head strong and give it my best.
So I did the whole “new year, new me” thing.
I went back to school in January for second semester and was struck with mono within my first 2 weeks. After that, I stopped going to classes…
I was notified that I was failing – something I’d never heard before in my life. I grew up as an Honors student. Cried if I got even an A- on a test. I was THAT kid. But ok, so they tell me I’m failing and push me to see a school counselor who then advised me to take a medical leave of absence for clinical depression. So in March of 2013, I withdrew from my first year of college, and my dream school.
Wow, this new year new me thing was going REALLY well, don’t ya think?
Fast forward to May of 2013. I COULD NOT STAND NOT BEING IN SCHOOL. All my friends were in school, I felt dumb and like I was losing knowledge by the minute, but one thing I didn’t really miss… was dance. Maybe this was a new me?
I really wanted to go back to school. But I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do since for as LONG as I could remember, all I ever wanted to do was dance. I really didn’t know anything else. I started searching local schools to see what might interest me; found nothing, besides nursing, but I couldn’t afford to do that kind of schooling. (That’s a WHOLE other ball park of a story)
My psychiatrist mentioned studying Dental Hygiene to me. It was a quick degree – could get your Associates OR your Bachelors. She introduced me to Mount Ida College in Newton and I fell in love. The campus was beautiful, the hygiene clinic was stunning, the student body was small (which I prefer), and I even had eligibility to be an athlete.
I applied (very late) to Mount Ida with a warning that I probably would not get in due to the timing. Within 3 days of my application, I was accepted into the Pre-Dental Hygiene program and was so ecstatic to start this new journey of mine that fall. It really was a new me!
Fast forward to September 2013 – I began school at Mount Ida. I had tried out for and made the cheerleading team and was making new friends. I felt good! I also worked outside of school so I could pay for gas and food and a life. It worked out fine for me.
Then… I met a boy. BAD IDEA, GUYS. BAD IDEA.
I can joke about it now, years later. But it so wasn’t a joke then.
I completely fell head-over-heels for this boy. I say boy because he’s so far from a man I don’t think he will ever become one. This boy was a master manipulator. He had a way about him that was charismatic and charming that pulled you right in. Once you were in, you were trapped.
I was abused. Physically. Emotionally. Financially. And I let it happen. I didn’t know any better. I was scared to tell or I’d get hurt. I was always on the defense for him saying how great he was. All the abuse happened behind closed doors. I would’ve looked like a liar if I had said anything to anyone.
Fast forward to 2015. At this point, I had been accepted to the Dental Hygiene program, elected class president, treated over 14 patients in the clinic, and removed from the Dental Hygiene program. Throughout all of my schooling, I worked 4 jobs to keep myself afloat. This caused me to “fail” a course by 0.01 point… a 72.9% out of 73%, which was a passing grade. I was removed from the program. For the record, I was still with the boy at this time. I was “punished” for my “stupidity.”
I worked extremely hard. I never could have “planned” for this to happen. It just did. It was fate. So I had to decide what the hell to do next. So I changed to a Pre-Medical Biology major, as I had already taken many of the courses that are involved in the degree and I was pretty close. I was doing really well until March 2016. One fine snow day that March, the abuse from the boy went too far. He broke into my dorm room and basically took away my dignity and strength.
It took everything in me to bring myself back after that. I found myself an advocate, went to court, got my safety and dignity back and finished the school year strong. I was proud to have finished the school year at all. I had a full semester and then a part-time semester left to graduate and was finally on my way to getting the degree I worked for.
That summer, all of my college finances were taken away from me (long story, but safe to say, wasn’t planned) and I was not able to return to school for my last year.
I felt absolutely DEFEATED. I lost everything I worked for. Dance major? Gave that up. Dental hygiene major? Got kicked out of that for all my hard work. Pre-Med? Had no choice but to give that up.
So here I was in 2016 – 4 rocky ass years of college, no degree, and no one to help me finish to get it.
Fast forward to 2017. I couldn’t take not being in school and having no degree. It was impossible to find a job outside the realms of the food service industry or retail. SO NOT ME. I decided to take my education into my own hands.
You see all those cheesy commercials from SNHU of people receiving their degrees, like, in the middle of nowhere, because they received their degrees online. A degree is a degree. I looked into it, decided to spend my last $50 I had in my bank account to apply for any health related program I could, wrote an essay pretty much like this blog post, honest and to the point, and was accepted a week later with a financial aid package that covers my courses each term. Did I plan that at the beginning of 2017? No. Did I plan on going to school online ever? No.
MORAL OF THE STORY…
My life has been a ROLLER COASTER. I’m only 23. I have so much life left to live and I want to live it happily. I’ve been knocked down like bowling pins time and time again, but I won’t let it defeat me. New year, same me, just different goals. You can’t plan everything because you never know the unexpected or unknown. You can’t fear the unknown, though. You have to run into it head on with no fears. Take what life throws at you. It might suck some serious nuts, but you’ll get there!
NEW YEAR. NEW OUTLOOKS.