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New beginnings

As a new year approaches us, many people reminisce on the past year, reflecting on the good and the bad, the trend in making resolutions and the mindset to make this coming year the best one yet.

At the end of every year, I often do a reflection of my thoughts pertaining to the previous year. Below is a post I wrote at the end of 2012.

“I can’t believe this year is coming to an end! 2012 brought many tears, sadness, confusion, frustration, happiness and unforgettable memories. I couldn’t have gotten through this year without all of my wonderful family and amazing friends. This year was definitely the hardest of them all, but I know one thing these past 12 months have given me: strength. Strength to push through obstacles, strength to move on and strength for hope. I’ve laughed, cried and loved, and I’m ready to take on whatever life throws at me. If I could make it through this year, I can make it through anything.”

A whole year has almost passed since I wrote this. Things have changed. Memories have been stored away so new ones can be created. Things have fallen apart. Things have come together. A lot has changed within the course of the year since I wrote the excerpt above.

Looking back at it, I can remember each and every thought and event that took place in that year. The pain. The memories. The lessons. The happiness. The frustration. The obstacles. The good times. And the bad times.

It wasn’t until the beginning of January of this year, a few days after I wrote the above piece, that I realized these things are all a part of life. Life is like a roller coaster. There are ups, downs, twists and turns, and you never know what will come next. One day you feel like you’re at the top of the world and the next you feel like the whole world is against you. At times like these, we humans tend to feel like there’s nothing we can do to get past what we’re going through.

Coming from a 16-year-old teenager, this is what I have learned from hard times.

You can’t change the past. You can’t make up for what you did wrong. You can’t always have things perfect. You can’t be perfect. But you can shape your future. You can recover. You can be the light in someone’s eyes. And you can get past anything if you’re willing to put in the effort.

So as we celebrate the end of yet another year, let us look back on the memories that made us laugh until our stomachs hurt, the ones that made us cry into the night or the ones that have a special place in our hearts. We need to remember that these events give us strength to push through anything life throws our way.

Jacqueline Del Bene is a sophomore at West Linn High School. She is contributing a regular column to the Tidings this year.




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