Happy New Year! Reflections and Resolutions

New Years Eve has always been a special holiday for me. It’s a day to diagnose the past year, and determine what we seek to accomplish in the next.Perhaps I’ll write something about my predictions and overview of politics in the past year, but this post is not for that, and plenty of that already exists on the internet, as it does every year. I like to think of New Years as a day for personal reflection, more so than political.

In the past year I presented in front of an audience(!) my first paper ever. As a ‘rising student scholar’ I had a great opportunity to survey the relationship between mass movements and state security in Modern China. That was an unexpected surprise, not something that I imagined I’d find myself doing last New Years.

I hope for more unexpected surprises to come, and still can’t imagine where I’ll be next time this year, one month after graduating college. I still believe I could be living anywhere doing anything; in Washington at work, in Vietnam teaching English, in Lebanon working on my Masters. Why not? The only limit is the impossible, and I have yet to understand where that point begins.

Last New Years I decided I wanted to study Arabic, my parents native language, and I did it. I decided I wanted to spend my summer in Morocco, and I did it. I started learning Farsi. I traveled to California. I made deans list. I revived this blog. I found ease in my Internet Technology job and am now getting promoted inshallah for the new Spring.

I feel really great about my past year, my life seems to be healthy in every way. Like anyone I have my personal struggles, but I get no sense that they’re debilitating, so in that respect I’m blessed by God. My biggest struggle is the belief that I could have done more, no matter how well I do, life is always unfinished, with room for incremental increases in productivity.

This year I’ll continue working on the language skills. I’ll search for new hobbies like the gun range or golf, I pledge to read more books than the last year, and now write about them too, on this website. I’ll find meaningful work, that opens me up to new explorations just as I always dreamed of  since I was young, and I’ll be safe in the knowledge that I have the greatest safety nets of all holding me up; family and friends that will support me in my desires.

Have a special New Year.

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