Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Obligatory 2012 post:

So I've been avoiding this post like a mothafucka, but there is no denying that my three-day graduation process begins in exactly six months, which means that it is officially 2012. 

This is probably going to be one of the biggest transition years of my life, and knowing that I'm in it now and basically the beginning of my life is over and I have to try to be an adult now is really. fucking. scary. But I suppose that if your life as a whole doesn't freak you out from time to time, you've probably settled into some routine that is, shall we say, less than stimulating. And maybe you should reconsider your decisions. 

So, without further adieu, here's a recap of what I learned in 2011:

The wonder of being reunited with a family member you've missed for 7 years. That I have the best friends in the world. The delicious joy of falling asleep in and waking up in someone's arms. That in the future I'll have to work on not letting my romantic relationships sort of overshadow the entire rest of my life. How it feels to be rejected from something academic. How to use STATA. How it feels to complete your first substantial piece of independent research. The importance of honest communication, of saying how you feel even if you're not sure how the person you're talking to will take it; silence and acquiescence lead to dangerous assumptions and general trouble. That I should not, in any arena of my life, base my actions primarily upon how I think I'm supposed to feel/think/be/act, but rather upon how I actually feel/think/am/do. To lock. my. shit. up. because Princeton is incredibly safe for people, but not so much for laptops. That I might be a little bit of a nympho. How to not be intimidated by my professors. The joys of shopping on Etsy. To do things with my hair!!! That night shifts at libraries are THE. BEST. JOBS. EVER. That, as I have assumed for years, I actually really can't handle long distance relationships. That Erykah Badu is a mind-blowingly phenomenal performer. That good intentions mean very little in the moment, but can be quite significant in the long run. That I have the best friends in the world (this is important enough to be said twice). That I can let my emotions run away with me. That I'm a pretty decent cook. That my alcohol tolerance is basically too high for drinking in the real world. How to be friends (or at the very least, quite friendly) with an ex. That I can sleep with people I'm not dating (or even interested in romantically) and still respect myself in the morning. How to be more fiscally responsible. How to make a graduation cap work with a fro. That indie Black music and world Black music are PHENOMENAL. That I like Earl Grey with honey. That my mother has cancer. To incorporate many more ways of thinking, acting, feeling, and being into my understanding of Blackness. That my generation is capable of mobilizing politically. That styling tutorials by YouTube vloggers can be fantastic. That things generally come to me frequently more when I put myself out there more actively. How to braid! How kissing a girl feels different than kissing a guy. That hair salons can do wonders for natural hair. How to eat with chopsticks. That I am capable of having real conversations with all of my siblings. How to paint my nails. That my friends from elementary/middle/high school will always be my friends, regardless of how rarely we talk/see each other.

I'm sure I could think harder and come up with more things I learned in 2011, but that list seems exhaustive enough. There were some really tough times and I will freely admit that there were days I spent in tears, but all in all, I'd say it was a good year. I feel as though I spent a lot of this year coming into myself (perhaps as a direct result of having to take myself out of the "we mentality" I'd developed), and I'm delighted with the results.

In 2012, I'm going to have to learn: how to write a thesis. How to leave Princeton, which has played a huge role in creating so much of who and what I am, and the friends I have been realer with than I have been with many people who have known me since childhood, without losing myself. How to not be sobbing in all of my graduation pictures. How to negotiate the fine details of employment in a real person full-time salaried position. How to find an apartment. How to furnish an apartment. How to get around in a new city. How to be a grown woman working in the professional world in a major city. How to keep myself busy without homework. How to make friends out of anything other than proximity.

And who knows what else I'll pick up along the way? As always, I want to continue learning from past lessons and embrace growth and not be afraid of change. I'm going to keep making it work in 2012. After all, this is going to be a big transition year for me. I refuse to stop blossoming.

Reblogged from Indie. Radiant.
 And before I go, I realize that I'm a little late, but I wish all of you joyous new years! May your strategies be effective, your plans go accordingly, and your goals/desires be realized in 2012 (and beyond)! 


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