12 Lessons 2017 Left Me

Hi friendsssss! It’s almost time to pop some champagne and let the countdown begin: 2018 is almost upon us, and whether you like it or not, you’re probably mesmerized and can’t even believe another year has gone by -I know for a fact I am. I haven’t lived all that long yet, but I do think I’ve seen and have gone through a lot, especially over the last three years. 2017 was, however, the year in which all of the lessons I got from the past five years helped me grow up the most. Every day is a new chance to learn something new, but listing “365 lessons 2017 left me” seemed a bit too ambitious, so I’ll just list twelve.

January taught me how to move on . I wanted to start this year with a clean slate and I really did put all of the negativity of the last months of 2016 -and some of the previous years too- behind me. It was the best decision I’ve made so far.

February taught me how to push forward. My first semester was behind me. It was time to pick up where I had left off and make some adjustments when it came to academics. We’re all learning here, and it wasn’t until I failed a couple of exams that I realized that if I wanted to succeed I’d have to work my ass off. Let’s see how that pays off.

March taught me how to fucking go for it. After toying with the idea of recording my (fashion) journey in Belgium for a while, I stopped trying to figure it all out at once and decided to let it be and just do what felt right, and that’s when I opened this blog. I think that was one of my favorite moments of this year.

April taught me what it was like to live “La Dolce Vita”. The sun and the warm weather came back, everything seemed to be on the right track and I got to go Florence for the first time. PS: There’s nothing a gelato a day can’t fix!

May taught me to trust my gut. Send the message, get the side fries, get yourself a burger, buy the jacket! If it feels right, it is right. Nuff said.

June taught me how to believe in myself. I don’t think I’ve ever cried that much in a library – I didn’t even think it was possible tbh- but with a little (a lot, actually) of help of my friends and family I pulled through the exhaustion and the heatwave and gave it all I had. I did better than I ever thought I did and decided not to switch my major. Who said linguistics isn’t fun?

July taught me two things. One: you are never to forget where you come from. I got to go back home and see my life long friends and family and I was the happiest little munchkin. I don’t know where I’d be if I wasn’t for them. July also taught me that keeping your hopes up isn’t all that bad after all: you never know when a) you might pass 5/6 exams and b) a very unexpected message from someone on the other side of the world might put a smile on your face.

August gave me patience. Retakes suck ass but they’re not the end of the world, and while spending a part of your summer in the library is boring, it’s not the end of the world.

September taught me how to relax. Whether it was by jumping to Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” at an all you can drink music festival with Camille and her friends, or sipping  a vision-sized glass of sangria in Barcelona, September was the month of self-care and pleasure.

October taught me something I can’t summarize in one sentence. If we’ve met in person you’ve heard me say a million times that I didn’t believe in fate until I moved to Belgium. Turning 20 on the there side of the world, while getting calls from friends across the ocean and as far north as Canada all the way through the States and down to a couple kilometers below the Equator in my hometown, while having a conversation in Dutch with people I wouldn’t have met if I lived anywhere else does make you believe in fate. I never thought I’d be here, now, writing this, yet here I am. It’s completely crazy, yet somehow it still makes perfect sense. Just like me, I guess. 🙂

November taught me all habits die hard, but they die, eventually. I realized I was about to make so many mistakes I had already made a million times before, they were about to become full on errors. I took a step back, reflected on everything last year taught me, and took the higher road for a change. #NoRegrets

December reminded me of how life has a funny way of taking you by surprise when you least expect it. Looking back at 2017, I cannot believe how far I’ve come and how much I’ve grown in just 365 days time. The last part of 2016 was filed with some tough lessons, that definitely had a huge impact on me. 2017 was my year of the phoenix: I rose from the ashes and was the happiest I’ve ever been. 2018 is already looking pretty fine -less school credits, less exams, travels, concerts, and friends. I’m ready for you, 2018.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making my 2017 so awesome. Here’s to many more years together.

xxx, and happy new year!

Don Diego

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