2016 has been very good to me I must admit. After going through a tough year in 2015 – dealing with depression and more- I completely shut all the way down. Looking back I realize just how bad 2015 was. I was down in the dumps about plenty. I still hadn’t been admitted to a graduate program, I was waitlisted then declined to go to Peace Corps, I went through the long and tedious application and interview process to be a probation officer for LA County and was rejected nearing the end of the process, dealing with family and personal issues, I was at a job that I had a love/hate (loved the clients, hated the organization) relationship for, and unbeknownst to me back then, I hadn’t seen any of my really good/close friends in over a year. I was literally a robot. I’d routinely get out go to work, write a bit and sleep until the next day to do it all over again. Somehow I managed to groom myself and eat occasionally to keep up appearance. I told everyone all was well, but really I couldn’t see my purpose. My confidence was declining. That joy, hope and love for life just wasn’t there. Then one day I decided to share my feelings with those closest to me.
I talked to my sister, my cousin and my roommate from college/bestfriend. Following those conversations I decided I’d go skydiving… Yes black people skydive, some of us are pretty adventurous. After experiencing that type of exhilaration and surviving I knew I could do anything. I wasn’t invincible, but I was indestructible. From that day onward I decided I’d live my life to the fullest. I’d stop restricting myself. I’d live by what my mother had always told us “The worst that could happen is they could say no.” And, well no isn’t so bad after you’ve jumped out of a plane amongst other things. It wasn’t like a death sentence. I began going for everything that I wanted. 2016 was it.
My 2016 has been all about me leaving my comfort zones behind. I’ve pushed myself into new situations, gone after jobs and opportunities that I haven’t been 100% confident in, met and opened up to new people, and much more including traveled to a new country alone! I’ve gathered that in my journey of no longer wanting to restrict myself, although at times quite uncomfortable, it has been the best time of my life thus far. I’ve built myself up in ways I hadn’t thought before, given myself options and opportunities I’d once thought unreachable and I’ve achieved a new level of happiness.
I’ve said all of that to say this: life is what you make it. Do not confine yourself and not test the waters. There’s a whole world out there for you to explore and tap into hidden adventure. No one can hold you back but you, and even then don’t you allow it. So what are you waiting for? Go out and live life out of your comfort zone!
– Viola Constance