2016; A year of Progress, Promotion, & Pain

Well, it’s that time for the ‘new year, new me’ posts, and if that is what you are looking for this blog is not for you. Rather than creating a long, in depth, unobtainable ‘New Year’s resolution’ that I have no intention of completing; I would like to instead, reflect over few things that have made my 2016 unforgetable.

So here goes:

  1. Graduation:

graduation-formationMan, this is one day that I never thought would come, but once it did I had no idea how four years could happen so quickly – oh, the irony. My undergraduate experience was full of opportunities and challenges that will have long lasting implications on my life. I learned how to succeed and respond to failure. Most importantly I learned that my life is mine, and whatever I hope for it be rest solely on my shoulders.

2. Acceptance into graduate school:
img_0491 This to happened all to quickly. In high school and most of undergrad I never really had intentions on staying in school. It’s funny how life works its self out (and how you I would have done anything in order to escape all of the pressures and responsibilities of the “real world”) – regardless, it happened and I am glad it did. Graduate school has allowed me to further explore who I am, the world around me, and how I fit into it. I never thought that the world of academia would have been my cup of tea, but I am going to keep drinking it until my thirst is no longer. Go Pokes!

3. Receiving the “Margaret Young Award”:

IMG_0003.JPGThis year I was awarded, from my undergraduate institution, the “Margaret Young Award”. Deeming me as the “most outstanding female student” in my graduating class. Now, between me and you I had no idea what this award even was prior to my nomination – so me winning was a total shock to both my family and I. This did not make the list in order for me to boast about all of the wonderful things that I have done and how I am such an amazing person (complete sarcasm), but because of what it represents. My mother always said that, “People are always watching you; you may not know it, but they are”. The things that I did in undergrad were done because I was passionate about whatever it was I was doing, not with intent of be awarded. This award reiterated what I had always been taught, and further emphasized that, ‘as long as you are doing what you love, and you are giving it your all, it is not in vain – people see  you, and you are impacting them’.

4. Friendship:

IMG_1389.JPGIt took awhile, but I finally them! Friendship is one thing that I feel like people take for granted, especially in an area of #NoNewFriends and being hyper-independent. As for me though, I believe in and have witnessed the beauty of friendship. Some battles are not meant to fought alone, and I thank God that I was given a support system this past year that have been willing to stand beside me.

5. Failure:

There is not specific picture that embodies the failure that I have endured this past year, yet the feelings that are left as a result are felt so deeply. In 2016 I opted to start dreaming. Although in retrospect the idea of ‘dreaming’ is splendid and encouraged, however we know that with dreaming there are very real implications that come along with them. Implications that may include rejections, loss of money and time, disappointment and possibly embarrassment. Unfortunately, I experienced all of the above this year. Through a series of disappointments and rejections I have realized that these events are nothing more than redirection. Redirection toward something better.

6. Tarnished Relationships:

As I stated earlier, this year I began to truly value friendships, in the same manner I value growth and progression. I have grown fond of the statement “show me who your friends are, and I will show you who you are” – therefore, I do not believe that the two independent clauses previously stated can stand independently of the other. With friends, one of two things can happen, progression or regression. Either you will move forward or fall backward, it’s really that simple. I thank God, that I was able break loose from the chains and bondage of old and tired relationships. I was able to walk away and move forward, away from people who were no longer a source of growth, support, and positivity.

7. My people and I (woke) up!

Oh, yes! Even through the weekly killings of our brothers and sisters, the 2016 election, and every other monstrosity this year, we began to open our eyes and peeped game! Straight up. *Excuse me, I had a moment there for a second*. Anyways, we decided to step a way from “professionalism” and opted to be UNAPOLOGETICALLY black. We began to demand “Seat(s) At the Table“, we started to do what no one wanted – we got in “Formation“, and when it was all said and done, for once we took a much needed break a delved into our  “Coloring Book(s)“. And, although all of these things are great, I cannot forget how many of my beautiful sisters continued to embrace and exude our inherent #blackgirlmagic.

***All in all, 2016 was a very special year for me. One that I will never forget, but one that I am glad I am past. I was one of progress, promotion, and pain, but necessary none the less. If you are reading this, I wish you a 2017 that will challenge and strengthen you – a year that will make you better than what you were in 2k16.

– As Told by HER, Hailey

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