What I Didn't Expect in 2015

Every new year comes with a new wave of optimism. You have a list of goals that you wrote down in order to "succeed" in the new year.  You know as long as you achieve what is on this list you will have everything you need. Then that 3 month goal turns into 2 years. That start-up business actually never started. And maybe you experience loss that threw you for a whirlwind and left you off track.

One minute you think you have everything laid out perfectly and the next minute life humbly reminds you that you don't make all the rules. Most of the time for the better. So I'm going to share with you some of my greatest moments that were NOT on my list.

  1. I got accepted to school in Paris, France and never went. I was elated earlier this year when I found out I was accepted to a Masters in Communication program in Paris to jump-start my creative field. But with all the financial needs (woes) and timing, I finally decided it wasn't the best choice. As much as I wanted to run off to Europe, I needed to make sure it was for the right path. This led me to number two...
  2. I enrolled into career school. After exploring my "creative self" I finally found a part-time program at General Assembly (one of the best companies ever) in the User Experience (UX) Design course. I knew I wanted to get into the digital creative field, and their information emails couldn't have come at a better time. I took what I did save for Paris and made an investment in me. (See my post on Investing in Your Creative Self.)
  3. I lived in a city I didn't work in. Every Monday morning I flew out to another state to do my job and flew back home Thursday evenings (sometimes Friday). I was based in Atlanta with no work in Atlanta. I've worked in New Jersey, Ohio, New York, Florida and Delaware. I was able to explore myself professionally in so many ways that led me to work with some of the best management team I've had. I built relationships and friendships that I still foster today. But it started to wear on me. It was exhausting and long. I never had a moment for my self let alone my friends. I felt lonelier than ever and my life was consumed by work. I told myself if I left, I would need to go back to school or into a creative field. So this happened...
  4. I quit my job for another accounting job. Not what I truly had in mind, however, it worked to my advantage. Instead of banking, I'm now in the world with entertainment filled with cartoons and news. All of a sudden things clicked. One of my substitute teachers at GA actually works as a designer at my current job! She got my into a Slack group with all the UX designers she works with at our company and alas... my network expanded!
  5. I met someone (even though he's been around for 7 years). I've been loving every minute of my twenties because I started to explore who I truly was. At 21 I was lost. 22 my life exploration began. 23 I felt like a new woman. 24 was when I became so comfortable in who I was. 25 I fell face flat in mud. And then my best friend came along and helped me back up. I am very fortunate to have a partner who has been there for years as a friend. He has helped me discover habits, traits, and characteristics old and new that have made me better. I've gone through pretty low, embarrassing, and insecure moments, but not once has he failed me as a friend in our relationship. For that - I am grateful. You forget you don't truly know who you are until you share you vulnerable moments with someone else. You start to see the big mess that was swept under the carpet. But that is what makes us beautiful as human beings. We are beautifully flawed.

What were some of your unexpected moments in 2015 and how did it help you this year? Share them below!


Author: Aylin Marie
Aylin is a visual creator, aspiring UX designer and occasional photographer who has a thing for making clean and minimal user-friendly designs. She started blogging about her travels at OneYoungTraveler and found herself really intrigued with designing it. Eventually, she mingled her creative hobbies with her savvy tech side and fell into the world of digital design. She loves sunflowers and sitting in coffee shops. She grew up in Germany but her first language was Turkish. She is a User Experience (UX) Design graduate from General Assembly and holds a Master's in Business Administration.

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