Today is my last day being 23 and I am heading off to Patagonia tonight. I will be spending the next ten days in the Southest point of Chile, an area that has become fairly popular in the last few years. We will be hiking, sleeping in tents, and living outdoors essentially, which is scary and exciting for me. I love the outdoors but am not the most outdoorsy person. However, I am eager to learn, so this will be a fun challenge. I will do a blog post about the trip in the coming month. Until then I wanted to reflect on my last year and what I am looking forward to in my next year of life.
Looking back at the past year brings up so many different emotions. I moved to a new country with my boyfriend. We started a life together, completely new for the both of us. There was so much excitement, as well as many challenges that come with starting a new chapter. We moved into a house, transformed it, brought friends to move in with us, and created a family in doing so. I worked several different odd jobs and dedicated the year to find out what I wanted to do with my life. I spent months going over different options, getting advice, doing research and later decided that I wanted to get my Masters in Occupational Therapy. I kept comparing other careers to Occupational Therapy and my mind would always trace back to it. Ultimately, I could not see myself pursuing anything else that would make me as happy. So I applied to schools in Australia on a whim. I did not exactly want to go back home for school, and I came to really love Australia. Later that year I got accepted to both schools, in Sydney and in Melbourne. After discussing which city to choose, my boyfriend and I decided to stay in Sydney since we had already made a life there; and he got a great job as an Architect so everything seemed to fall into place! We have been super lucky, because we are both from different countries and Australia has been a good balance for us. This is not to say that my year being 23 was perfect sunshine and rainbows though…it was VERY rough sometimes. There were days I would be depressed, lost, lonely, and homesick. Depressed because I felt pressure from society to go back home and get a job like the rest of my friends and peers. Lost because I was not sure what I wanted to do with my life, career wise. Lonely and homesick because living abroad without many friends or family is not for the faint of heart. There were many days that I would cry to my mom, best friends, or my boyfriend about how badly I missed having my true girlfriends around. We had friends in Sydney, and they became family to us by the end of the year, but people were constantly coming and going as most of them are foreigners as well. I wanted something more stable, but I also love living the unstable life of living abroad. After of a few months of feeling sorry for myself and simply just being silly I realized how lucky I really was. I have since tried to feel grateful for my life everyday. I get to live a crazy life, even when I am just going to work and coming home to make dinner, I am living abroad and succeeding at it. That in itself is something to be proud of and thankful for. Throughout the trials and triumphs of this year, I learned that pain makes you grow, and that everything works out in the end when you handle life peacefully.
At age 24 I am looking forward to starting school again! I am ready to get back to learning and becoming an Occupational Therapist. I am also ready conquer year 3 of living abroad. I know that whatever comes my way, I can handle it. At this age I feel like I am truly getting to know myself to the core, which makes life easier to go through. After all, I am still young and am learning everyday.