It has been an official year since I — and my poor liver — turned 21.
Yes, this means that I have been able to legally drink, but I have been spending more time reflecting on all of the amazing experiences that this year has brought me.
Somehow, this ended up being the best year yet.
And it’s probably because I didn’t go in with any expectations.
It happened little by little, but I slowly gained confidence in myself and my own capabilities.
Looking back at this time last year, I was so scared of absolutely everything.
Now, I honestly believe in taking a chance and fully jumping in.
I spent my first few months developing amazing new friendships with people who I was always afraid to talk to.
Now, we know almost everything about each other.
I challenged my own spiritual life and spent the necessary time praying, reflecting and questioning what I believe.
Now, I stand so much stronger in my faith.
I was truly vulnerable and let people see the tears come down as all the insecurities came to the forefront.
And I spent an amazing summer celebrating my best friend getting married, climbing mountains and teaching Italian medical students.
The beauty of it all was that I just embraced each and every day that came along.
I went into all of it believing that I was bound to meet a new person who could change my life.
All I needed to do was listen to his or her story.
I met so many life-changing people, had moments that will forever stay in my heart and a sense of wholeness that I honestly never have felt before.
And now that I stand on the precipice of 22 (cue Taylor Swift), I find that even if this year isn’t the absolute best, I have a mindset that will allow for even more adventure.
This year, I will graduate and start rotations for PA school (cue the tears), so it’s bound to be anything but boring.
And even though I honestly have no idea what I am doing tomorrow, let alone in a few months, I know that it’s going to be OK.
Because for the first time, I’m not scared to jump into the deep end because I have had a whole year of practice.
And being a little nostalgic about everything, I can’t help but be a bit proud of how far I have come.
I sometimes think back to the little girl I used to be and how much I wished I would fall in love and get married straight out of college like my mother did.
And looking at myself now, I know for a fact that this is not in the cards for quite some time.
But for once, that’s OK.
Because, I have found that my heart belongs in the memories I am going to make and the relationships I will build.
So as Taylor Swift would say, “We’re happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time.”
And I couldn’t agree more.