2011: The Year Of….

Last year, I participated for the first time in a blogging project called Reverb10. The idea was to reflect and write about the past year, depending on what the topic was about. I decided to partake in WEverb11; the idea is the same, although I’ll be going about it a little differently. Yesterday I found out that it wouldn’t be hosted by the same website, so I had to do some digging around; I may use a variety of different topics from different blogs/websites, but I will certainly give credit where credit is due at the end of each post. Hopefully anyone who reads this will enjoy my journey as I look back on this past year, and continue on into the next.

Day 1-One Word

Choose one word. Encapsulate the year 2011 in one word. Explain why. Imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like to be the word that captures 2012 for you?

At times I forget that 2011 didn’t start at the beginning of August; that it has entailed both second semester of my freshman year and first semester of my sophomore year. There are a host of choices that I can easily pick from: honest, truth, self, being open, etc. But I genuinely believe that the best word would have to be authentic

Although authentic is not the word I would have chosen for January through August, it most definitely stood out to me in regards to this year as a whole. It symbolizes the fact that I chose to stop trying to handle everything (and I literally mean everything) on my own and allow others to support me and be there for me. 

I don’t see it as lying about my character or personality, necessarily; that’s not what I was doing. I had this whole (incredibly false) perception of what it mean to be “older” and to be an “adult.” For instance, I couldn’t cry. I could ask for help. I couldn’t admit that I was struggling. And I couldn’t admit that at first I had bitten off more than I could chew. At least not for a long time. 

Instead, it was more of trying to project myself as a person that had it all together and could handle anything. I was scared of doing any of the things I mentioned above, out of not wanting to worry or let down my family. I was even scared around my closest friends, because it always seemed like they had it down to a science and I was feeling like the odd person out as it was. 

It was, and still has been a very slow process. It has taken a therapist, laying down my pride, and faith in order to stop constantly relying on my own strength. That may be the norm in my generation, but it sure isn’t who I am. 

And since then, doing so has been a wonderful blessing. Not only has it brought me closer to those that I already care about, but has enabled me to connect with those that I wouldn’t have previously taken the chance on.

I’m not looking for comfort or answers. I’m not depending on anyone to make it better. I’m just simply embracing the freedom of not having to hide from the rest of the world. It all feels absolutely amazing. 

I hope to keep applying authenticity in 2012, but it different ways. I want to be completely open to whatever is in store for me in the coming year. I want to learn how to go with the flow instead of being stuck on things I cannot change. I want to keep not caring so much about what others think of me and speak up for what I need. 

I want to be authentic and I’m not going to apologize for it. 

This is the first post of what I’ve begun to call a “blogathon.” For the next thirty one days, I’ll be writing every day about what I’ve learned from 2011. I can’t wait to see what this journey brings!

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