Reflections on this CRAZY Year (May 2018-2019)
A little over a year ago, I graduated from college. It absolutely blew my mind when it dawned on me that a full year has gone by. It feels like only yesterday when I was excitedly putting on my graduation gown and gap, and walking down the blue velvet carpet during my graduation ceremony. This year has been undoubtedly one of the craziest years of my life, with so many twists and turns that I felt like I was living out the script of some wacky TV drama with hidden cameras.
To summarize this year in THREE words, I would describe it as: triumphant, introspective, and hopeful.
TRIUMPHANT because this year has been the culmination of my life’s work of getting into medical school. A year ago, I doubted in my ability to get into medical school, let alone a school that I was excited to attend. In the beginning of the application cycle, I was a nervous and jittery mess, desperately meeting deadlines while applying for full-time jobs. But as the cycle went on and I began getting interview invitations (from schools I thought I had zero chance of getting into), my confidence grew and I felt stupid for ever doubting in God’s plan for my life in the first place. Finally, last October, I received the fateful call from the admissions director telling me I had gotten in. I still remember how my hands trembled and I was speechless and overcome with emotion. All I can say is that in that moment, I felt like the calling God has for me was confirmed—and it is the best and most triumphant feeling in the world. Besides med school, this year has allowed me to break out of my shell in a lot of other ways. Moving home forced me to leave the safety of my Boston bubble and start from scratch in developing friendships and community. During this year, I have challenged myself to introduce myself to people and reach out more to make meaningful connections with others—which has led me to make new friends I never would have otherwise. I have also done so many things this year that have stretched myself: hone my artistic ability (oil/watercolor painting, poetry, calligraphy), practice music (learning three new songs on the piano), write for ProspectiveDoctor, teach SAT/ACT classes, try kickboxing for the first time (which was torturous), and travel ALONE to Japan (which was insane and the best trip I’ve ever been on—click here to read my Japan posts).
INTROSPECTIVE because I have gone through a LOT of personal trials this past year that I honestly never thought I’d have to go through (especially all at once). But these trials only made me dig deeper into my identity as a child of God, reflect on how my past (especially my childhood) has shaped me, and reevaluate how I want to live my life moving forward. Before this year, I was someone who swept my emotions under a rug in order to deal with other “more important” things like getting a good grade in my class. But since this year has afforded me a lot of free time and time alone to reflect, I became a much, much more introspective person. During my introspection, I realized that I didn’t really know myself very well and that this had led to a lot of confusion and hurt in my life. So I began to face my emotions instead of stifling them and I began to confront all the ugly parts of myself. One of my biggest blessings this year has been seeing a Christian counselor on a weekly basis to talk through my emotions and problems. This has been completely life-altering and I now recommend counseling to EVERY one I know. (This honestly deserves its own post, so I’ll save the details for another day). Writing on here (my blog) has also helped me to put my thoughts into words and to document the lessons I’ve learned on my spiritual journey. It’s been so incredible to hear feedback from people who have been encouraged by my posts (so THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to all my readers!). Lastly, I have learned a lot about what it means to have boundaries in relationships and being more wise in who I choose to trust and befriend.
Finally, I would describe this year as HOPEFUL, because it has taught me that God’s plans are so much better than my plans for myself and that He IS faithful and working behind the scenes to make everything come together at the right time. The biggest lesson I’ve learned this year is trusting in God’s timing and will for my life, even when things don’t make sense or don’t go as planned. At many points during this year, I have felt the opposite of hopeful—hopeless, even. I reached levels of dark that I have never experienced before. But in all honesty, I am grateful for having experienced this because it has made me a more empathetic and loving person. Despite all that I’ve gone through this year, I am hopeful for better things ahead and I have full confidence that God is working in me and preparing me for a future far beyond my imagination.
So I’d like to end this post with a prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for all that I’ve experienced this past year. Thank you for all of the triumphs I’ve experienced and for all of the suffering and trials also. Thank you for shaping me more and more each day to be more Christ-like and for being patient with me when I fall short. Thank you for surrounding me with mentors, friends, and community who pour wisdom and truth into my life. Thank you for stripping away the desires of my heart that are ultimately not satisfying and for teaching me to put Jesus at the center. Please continue to work in me and use me however you see fit in this upcoming year. Help me to continue to put my faith in You alone and to trust You in the good times and the bad. In your precious Son’s name I pray, Amen.