I'm Two Decades Old! Reflecting on Year Nineteen

I'm Two Decades Old! Reflecting on Year Nineteen

Cut the cake & cue the quarter life crisis!

Yes folks, it is my 20th birthday! I am officially two decades old (wowza). 

Looking back, my teens were very formative years for me. I discovered what I like, I discovered what I do not like, and in my later teens I feel as if I began the life-long process of growing into the woman I am meant to be. I am so lucky, in numerous aspects, to have experienced so many defining moments throughout my teens. This includes finding and developing my passion for photography, visiting extraordinary countries, graduating from high school, getting into Parsons, moving to London, meeting so many talented creatives (many of whom are now incredible friends), and moving to New York; all of which I will hold dear for the rest of my life. Of course, every life has its bumps and twists and turns, including my own. I have certainly had my share of trials and tribulations; however, I feel as if we have to take these experiences and learn from them in the best ways we can. As an exceptionally inward thinker, I have digested so many things about myself over the years, and many of them have resulted in very positive outcomes or lessons.

Nineteen has been a very interesting and somewhat confusing year for me. One half of my life was so wonderful, and is still continuing to blossom, but the other half was at a bit of a standstill for various reasons, known and unknown.

Socially, university has been really tough for me. This has been difficult to face alone in New York, as I am a person who comes from a tremendously outgoing and large family, and has a lovely group of warm friends. I was surrounded by the most social city on Earth, yet I was sitting on the side lines. During my time in London, I proved to myself that I am capable of setting out on my own and making significant friendships and connections with some truly incredible people. But since Parsons is not your typical university, and I personally found that it lacked those opportunities to meet other people in a very open and enjoyable setting. I was also at a complete loss for how to make them myself with so little free time. It was overwhelming and so unbelievably frustrating. I never wanted to attend your typical school, but I feel as if this is an important aspect of any university environment. It is a major criticism I have for the school I attend. Even when there were opportunities to get involved, nobody seemed to be genuinely inspired or excited, and this was disappointing for me. I someone who is ready to take on larger opportunities and to work with people who are as passionate about art and design as I am. I am always so receptive to meeting new people. In fact, it excites me. However, I have yet to meet a pal in New York who I feel an authentic connection with  - as cheesy as that sounds - and I have realized that this is perfectly okay. I am a firm believer in the fact that all good things take time, and I am sure that someone is out there somewhere.

On the other end of the spectrum, I have been cultivating many exciting long-distance friendships and a very special relationship with a man I am so in love with. Being long distance has its own unique struggles, but Pete is more than worth the distance and I believe we have been able to create such an incredible connection, despite an entire ocean being between us. I know there are many wonderful things to come for us, and I am wholeheartedly convinced that he is my soul mate (I mean, in a world of billions of people, do you really believe that your soul mate lives down the street from you?) Another person who has changed my world is my best friend, Amber, who has been a stellar confidant to me over the past year and a half. Her other half Ollie, a schoolmate of Pete's, has also been such a wonderful friend and he never fails to make me laugh. Some of my most favourite days this year were spent in London with this lot; people who have always made me feel so creatively inspired, driven, and happy. We are a pretty fab foursome, if I do say so myself.

Of course, this startling contrast was difficult for me to deal with on a day-to-day basis. So, naturally, I threw myself into my school work as a distraction. While I academically excelled during my first year at Parsons, I feel as if the school year floated by with no real life-altering moments, despite everything that I learned, and this saddens me. I felt as if I was wrung spiritually dry throughout the process due to the lack of personal connections, and I had very little time to focus on the personal projects I loved. There were moments when I felt utterly uninspired and I constantly questioned my place as a creative. I will not let this happen again; however, I think it really emphasized the importance and value of the people in your life and the vital impact they possess. My parents were so amazingly supportive throughout this year, and I am so thankful that they were there to talk to and accept advice from, especially during the emotionally messy bits.

Nevertheless, I am grateful to have a clean slate, a new decade, and a new school year to look forward to in the fall. It is an era of newness. 

I am so thrilled to finally be in my twenties (that's so cool to say!), and I really do want to savour every single year of this special decade. I know it's going to be particularly great. I have things I want to work hard on and develop, and I feel as if your twenties are a perfect time in life to properly explore and pursue those things. I have so many amazing goals that I want to chase and I am extremely excited to get to work on so many creative projects and concepts I have sitting up in my brain, including this blog. Although I make mistakes and have my moments of doubt, I am very much a person who lives life on their own terms and I am excited to get back to doing just that.

-Meredith

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