Every year, as the year comes to a close, it's my habit to look back on everything that has happened, and write myself a reasonable resolution by the time of Lunar New Year. There are so many things going on around this time of the year that I haven't had a chance to do this yet this year. As a matter of fact, I almost forgot that it was Lunar New Year until my friends reminded me of it, and until I got on Facebook and was attacked by a trillion picture updates of food and other exciting events going on in Vietnam. It is kind of sad that I actually don't miss home anymore. Usually I get pretty depressed and homesick when I'm not home at this time, hopefully this is because I was just there a few weeks ago. Anyways, December *cough cough* wouldn't be December if there isn't a good year review. It's about damn time for one.
2011 was a year with lots of changes. I realized many things that I didn't want to admit before, faced them and came up with other plans to deal with them. It was a year with lots of ups and downs, and wild moments - like a roller coaster. I totally would never have thought that I'd be saying all these things as a sophomore/junior, isn't my life supposed to be pretty stable by now? Lol.
2011 didn't start with a high note. Sophomore year was a tough year for me academic-wise. I have always known that I have a tendency to get carried away with extracurricular activities, but I guess I got a little bit toooooo carried away. Parts of the reasons were because I was so frustrated with the fact that I couldn't live up to my expectations, or other people's expectations of me, in academic. There were so many moments I wanted to give up, and almost hated myself for being such a loser, and tried everything to keep myself going. I remember series of sleepless nights, and all those times being scared, nervous, and angry all at the same time. It felt like I have tried all that I could but everything was beyond my ability. There is nothing I hate more than not being able to be in control of the situation. After all, I just slowly learned that there were things that I could do, and things that I couldn't do. I was still extremely disappointed with myself so I decided to go to South Africa - to rediscover my passion and to take a break from everything. Also, I was feeling uncomfortable with settling down in Rochester, I needed to go to a new place and got away from the stable life, and to look for something new.
Summer and Fall 2011 were the highlights of my entire year. Even though going to Africa was my very-last-minute and out-of-the-spur decision, I've never once regretted it. Being in a foreign country with a study abroad status took away the pressure I have always been under. I decided to just forget everything and took it easy for once in my life. It was definitely extremely uncomfortable to have so much free time on my hands. However, I was definitely more efficient and could get things done so much better without stressing out and getting frustrated all the time. Lol, funny thing that I've only learned that now. Oh well, I've always been the stubborn person who always chooses to learn things the hard way. Working in clinical settings for both medicine and psychology was a priceless experience. I definitely hated the feeling of being in a total strange place and having to figure my way out all over again in everything, having to make friends all over again, but for some reason, I think I'm addicted to that feeling. It felt normal for me to mix things up when my life becomes too boring. Of course, travelling was lots of fun. I consider myself lucky for getting so many opportunities to be at many different place in the world. Well yeah, I'm a bit of a spoiled brat, I'm aware of that.
I also consider myself lucky because while I was abroad enjoying myself without much care in the world, my family had to deal with such a difficult situation. I was never there at the most difficult time, and as much as it affected me, I know that I did not have to go through all the heart-breaking things that my family had to go through. I would never understand how it felt and as much as parts of me didn't want to know, I wish I could have been there for them. Although it no longer brings tears to my eyes, my heart still aches every time I think about it. It was 20 years of memories growing up. There is not enough space in this blog for me to write about all the memories, I definitely should add this to my to-write list. This incident definitely changes many things in our lives. Suddenly I realized that soon enough, I won't be able to rely on my parents anymore. I have been living such a carefree life that it is now extremely scary to think about having to deal with real life. Aiya .... I really should start learning.
2011 would be the last year that my sister will be home with us. Just thinking about her getting married next year, and will have a family on her own really hits me that we are all growing up. I'm sure she is more scared and worried than me right now, but she has an exciting life to look forward to. It is going to feel so weird at her wedding. I've never been the type to get emotional at weddings, or at any events, but I can tell now that it is going to have some effects on me.
I met many people, made tons of friends and became such a social person that sometimes I'm amazed at myself. Four years ago, I would never have thought I would be the Thanh that everyone knows me as right now. Most of the time, it feels quite liberating. I feel like this is the most ME I could get for now. Although, obviously, there are certain things that only certain people know about me, but everyone has complicated thing that they don't want to expose for the entire world to see. I definitely took many risks this year and tried out things that I have not done before. Crazy at times, yes, but I've never regretted any of them. I also took lots of times trying to figure out what I want to do with all my "relationships". At times I have been content with being the wild, free and independent girls who does not need one single guy, or any guys to make me feel better about myself. Compared to freshman year, it did me so much better. I have all the confidence and carefree attitude I needed to deal with them. I simply was happy with myself the way I was and I didn't feel like I need to change anything. Well, things came and went. Some maybe a little bit more sad than the others. After all, they were all good memories. I still have respect for all of them and I could never be happier to have them in my life.
Eventually, I get tired of moving from one guy to another. I got all the special treatments, I had the good times, but after everything passed, I always ended up alone. I am a strong and independent girl, but it gets lonely sometimes. However, I had one of the best relationships I haven't had for years. Throughout the entire year, he has always been shown up in my memories, good times and bad times. We might have been the weirdest and most unexpecting couple there could ever be, and even if he annoyed and frustrated me often enough, he kept me from being bored, and happy. I don't know what is going to happen between us in the future, and I may be a little bit greedy, since I don't want to settle down just yet and are still messing around, but I don't think I want to let him go either.
There's only one resolution that I make for 2012:
I want to spend 2012 doing things that I truly think are important.
In 2012, I want to strike a fine balance between relationships and career and friends, between social and travel and education. I want to continue to pursue my dreams relentlessly and with passion. I want to see new cities and appreciate places that I've been to. I want to make time for my friends and go on adventures. I want to starting getting rid of my lifestyle of living according up to my own [ridiculous] expectations and other people's expectations. I won't giving up on my crazy, free and independent lifestyle for a stable and steady one just yet, but I will start thinking about and learn to settling down a little bit. I am going to try not to be all over the place, focus my energy on finding things that are important and strike those.
It should be a good year :) Sooooooo looking forward to it.