2013 has been a year like no other for me – growing both personally and professionally. It has been a year of self-reflection and creative energy. One of the biggest life lessons I take from this year is embracing uncertainty. At the start of 2013, I was fresh out of college and had no idea what the next step was. I used to have tons of plans for my future but realized not all of those were my own plans or part of my journey.
This year brought a new age. I turned 23 in July and was looking forward to it regardless of what my friends had to say. I remember overhearing a conversation about the age of 23 being irrelevant. While it’s true 23 is a random number filled with weirdness due to post-college life and uncompleted adulthood, I can say this year has been better for me than any other in my 20s. I celebrated my birthday surrounded by the people I love, in my home eating yummy vegan cake and I am truly grateful to have such amazing, loving people in my life. Through all the love they share with me, it makes me want to share my love with you.
Joining Flurt has been life-changing and all- empowering. Since graduating college in December 2012, I was looking for a place to voice my opinions and concerns. I was missing the community I previously had in my women’s studies classes. Being part of a community that wants to change the representation of women for generations to come is inspiring. I am truly grateful to Founder Amanda Van Slyke for allowing me to be a part of this community. Never in a million years would I have believed I would have my writing published, and it has been an amazing journey I will continue well into the future. Thank you to the editors, designers and readers of Flurt for your continued support. Flurt holds a special place in my heart. At the same time, veganism has become intertwined in my identity.
Some may say this was the year of veganism for me. As July marked my 23rd birthday, it marked my 1 year vegan anniversary. Since becoming vegan a year and a half ago, it has become an important part of my life. I currently participate in an eco-vegan internship that has allowed me to learn, research and write about eco-veganism. The internship has inspired me so much that I co-launched an eco-vegan website called The Envi Girls this past month. I am hoping that the site grows and brings the eco-vegan lifestyle into mainstream media. Educating others about eco-vegan living is one of my passions. And teaching, even as a little gurl, has always been another passion of mine.
This year marked my first post-college job. After I graduated, I continued to work as a nanny while looking for a career I was passionate about. I tried a couple that lasted no more than a week because they were not aligned with my values. Fortunately, I was lucky to start teaching at a non-profit last month. Like any new job, it takes time getting used to a new environment but the people I work with are supportive and happy to have me on board.
I don’t know where I will be in a year, and that would have scared me in the past – but embracing uncertainty has become liberating and has eliminated my anxiety about having to know what my next step is. I hope to continue to do what I love and be around the people I love in 2014. If I had to say I had a resolution, it would be to create a life that is peaceful and causes others peace. I am sending a sweet farewell to 2013 as a year that has allowed me to grow more than I could have ever imagined. Here’s hoping 2014 is just as wonderful, surprising and inspiring. I wish you a happy, healthy and peaceful 2014.
Amanda Shea is a writer, vlogger and the YouTube director of Flurt. If you would like to get involved with Flurt please email Amanda Van Slyke at firstname.lastname@example.org.