2016 was a year of incredible—and at times uncomfortable—growth.
Much of what occurred I couldn’t have guessed at last January. Some highlights: I started and completed my single-subject credential program. I finished the English CSETs. I started road biking. I joined a yoga class. I became a dog-mom. I turned 28. I realized, finally, who I was and what I wanted. I thought I came to terms with what I didn’t want.
These things needed to happen. I’m a firm believer that without active (even uncomfortable) growth, stagnation and complacency await. Even though changes may be disquieting or even painful initially, without these adjustments there can be no development.
My hope is that, as I pursue these new goals and build this new life, I will always feel that I am growing. I want always to be learning new things, facing new challenges, meeting new people, becoming a new me. I want these same curious qualities—this same frustration with complacency—to blossom as well within those I surround myself with.
This year was incredible. I soaked in hot springs on cold winter afternoons. I meandered through wildflowers on a warm spring day. I biked around a mountain range. I hiked part of the Tahoe Rim Trail. I got Scout. I visited Tahoe more times this year than in all others. I made new friends. I learned so much about education, formally and informally. I learned so much about myself. So much about what I will and will not tolerate. The learning never stopped.
This year was also uncomfortable. My parents sold our childhood home and bought anew in rural Idaho. I learned things I can’t disregard about the ideals of my family, this nation, and their mutual implication for our future. During this process, I lost a piece of my identity I had never questioned. Completing school while also working and raising Scout at times felt impossible; many shower cries were had. Heck, raising Scout was the single greatest challenge I’ve faced this year (and possibly in my entire life). The discomfort seemed endless.
2016 was a wild ride. I’m not the same individual who began the year. I’m not even the same individual from 6 months ago. I hope that you aren’t either. I hope that as I pursue this mission of ongoing growth—incredible even uncomfortable growth—you will consider it for yourself as well. Do not stagnate in 2017.