Almost at the same time my shampoo finished, this year has too. My days in China are also fast disappearing. Shampoo, the year that's been and my exchange have all led me to reflect a bit.
Extracting myself and taking a wavering step back, I am still uncertain. Immediately, rather than work or school life, I see hurt. Something I have felt throughout the year and have been very slow to come to terms with it. But, after several deep breaths, I can spot something beyond this. The challenges caused by this hurt and the experiences certain changes have led to made me grow as a person in ways I haven't before. They opened doors within my world that I did not know existed - many I am still learning to walk through. My year gave me more (beautiful, forever undeserved) friends to be cared for by and who inspired new curiosities within me. My year brought me closer to the world, although I'm still quite scared of it. It also took me to China - an experience so equally challenging and fascinating that I now somehow have to find a way back here.
My year also slowly taught me the wonder and terror of being - being both alone and more aware of the crucial idea of "presence." Presence reminds me that the future does not exist and, rather simply, focuses on fully attending each day.
Crawling back into the entanglement, I end this year with some pain, some confusion but also as a changed person. I end it in awe of the kindness of close family and new and old friends. I also end it with a thankfulness - for all the moments where my curiosity was satisfied and for the incredible, incredible luck and generosity that I have continually encountered. Really, why me?
For next year, I wish for the continued freedom to unravel my curiosities.
Now, wherever you are at, here's to a happy New Year!