This year was quite the wild ride. I’m not even sure where to begin with recapping everything that has happened so far. As with all things, though, we have to start somewhere so why not at the point that I felt was the most crucial for me. The start of my second semester at Hunter College.

After an extended stay at the hospital I began my first day back at Hunter a whole 2 weeks late. A position that I have never quite been in before, and making the rounds to each of my classes and informing each of my professor’s why I hadn’t been to class didn’t help all that much, either. Against my better judgment, I decided against taking a leave of absence partially because I wanted to avoid putting myself in an opportunity to feel sorry for myself. To feel as though I somehow felt entitled to pity the situation that I was in and do nothing about it. In taking a leave of absence I felt that I would have been accepting that I was indeed all the things I thought I was; a failure.

And that’s something that I learned about again, today, on my way to class. I bumped into my professor from BMCC and he shared something that truly resonated with me. I explained to him how this semester had been difficult on me, to which he replied, “If you need to take it slow, then do so. But the important thing is to never stop. Stopping is accepting defeat. It doesn’t matter how long it takes for you to get there, what matters is that you made it.” And that truly meant a lot to me. It felt okay to not be doing things the way that they’re supposed to be done. And that’s completely fine. Life isn’t perfect, situations that I find myself won’t be perfect, and my decisions in response to all those situations won’t be perfect either. What matters, though, is that I didn’t stop trying even when things got hard.

And with that, I accept whatever challenges 2018 has to offer and many more to come. Life doesn’t stop for anyone, and it certainly won’t stop for me because I felt sorry for myself in a particular moment. What matters most, in the end, is the ability to get back up and keep trying. And I hope that this resonates with you, too. In reality, all we really can do is try, reach for something greater, and fall short. And then try again. We’re not meant for complacency, and in all of us is this desire to be more and do more.

Here’s to 2018 and all the challenges that will come with it.