Lately I've been recollecting on 2013 and trying to determine some new goals for myself as I begin 2014. Thinking back on the past year, I've realized that I can't appreciate my progress without also acknowledging how 2012 went for me.

To me, 2012 was definitely a year of insecurities. I had graduated from my bachelor's program into a poor economy with minimal work experience in my field. Graduating also involved moving back in with my family in Ottawa and saying goodbye to my beloved Guelph. While this was a great idea for saving money, I found aspects of family life difficult to resume after having lived alone for so long. I was fortunate and found employment, but I recall feeling so nervous and uncomfortable with the office life. I just wasn't feeling comfortable with myself. I also experienced a terrible bout of acne that flared up right after graduation and took at least half a year to clear up. It seems really superficial and silly, but I was so insecure with my appearance and how other people perceived me. By the end of 2012 I had decided to apply to graduate school and submitted my applications. I just remember how doubtful and unsure I was about whether I'd be accepted. The whole year was filled with a lot of anxiety.

If 2012 was my year of insecurities and uncertainty, then 2013 was when I finally started breaking out of my shell and pushing myself. I became fully committed to working out and eating well, and I finally started seeing the results of my hard work. Feeling stir-crazy with life in Ottawa, I made a point of reconnecting with old friends and visiting my friends that lived out of town whenever it was possible. I even signed up to participate in events that would have been too far out of my comfort zone years ago, such as cosplaying at Comiccon or competing in the Spartan Race. In my opinion, the best change of all was that I allowed myself to become a little more outspoken (or "sassy" as my coworkers put it). It involved getting over my fear of conflict and standing up for myself or others when I felt the need. It was definitely difficult though; there were some days I'd come home and have a breakdown because I felt bad about something I had said. However, I found it much healthier in the long run to voice my concerns or issues then let them bottle up and consume me.

2013 also marked the year I was accepted to graduate school for a program on the other side of the country. After learning I was accepted, I traveled out to BC for the first time ever and managed to find an apartment in only a week. I had always been such an anxious person, and yet I handled this task with such ease. It was definitely a sign I was moving in the right direction. The last months of 2013 were spent in BC completing the first semester of my program. While I did finish the semester utterly exhausted, I'm still proud by what I had managed. I couldn't have imagined how easily I'd befriend my peers, live on my own, and navigate a new (and huge) city.

I think the greatest success over this past year has been my personal development into someone who makes me happy and proud. That's all I can really ask for at this point in my life. I don't usually write down resolutions, but I feel the need to write down my goals for 2014 so that I can keep up my momentum.


So those are my goals to work towards this year. 2013 was definitely a wonderful and productive year for me, and I'm optimistic about what the next year has in store. 

Wishing you all the very best in the year 2014!

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