As I sit in the Chilean Miner I, drinking champagne and swaying just a tad, I am reflecting on 2011.
2011 was the year I developed the most.
I have learned:
Patience: Spending time in Chile taught me relax. As much as I struggled with sitting and talking about the same things and doing the same thing the following meal or day, I am now able to sit for hours without having the sensation that I "should" be doing something.
Love: I will never be fooled again. My heart is now reserved for someone who deserves it.
Family: There is nothing more important than family. Cherish your time with them and be sure to make time for the people that matter.
Respect: Some people have it, some people don't. No more spending time with people that talk about me in the 3rd person when I am standing in from of them. This doesn't mean to disrespect them either.
Criticism: I have learned how to disregard it from the people who do not care and are just talking out of their A$$ and appreciate the opinions of the people that matter.
Trust: Again, only myself and the people that care. No one else.
Self-Determination: Unfortunately, this is not respected in all parts of the world. Fortunately, I have the guts to believe in myself, no matter where I am.
Perseverance: When the goal is right, give it your all. Personal goals are very powerful when they don't involve hurting yourself. Sometimes it's just stupid to put energy into something that gets you no where.
Mental Illness: No one is crazy, just a little "off".
There are many other things I can think of.
Reflecting now on my time in Chile, not only did I learn about the Chilean culture but I now have a better understanding of why a 'developing' country works the way it does and what it would take for it to be 'developed'. The Chilean people are amazing in so many ways. I discovered a new piece of their culture to examine and analyze practically every week. When I first arrived, I was told by a Chilean it is a 3rd world country and I didn't believe him. I still don't believe him. Chile has much more potential than 3rd world. The people are striving for more, there are goals for the future, there are processes being put into place, children being educated and technology reaching into villages, giving opportunities to people that never had them before. It is truly a matter of the Chilean society accepting these opportunities, working towards the goals, following the processes, and working together. That is where the development needs to be focused. Entrepreneurs, business men and women, schools, etc, have plans for a greater future. I encourage the Chilean people to encourage each other. I have seen you come together in time of great need, come together as a people now in order to reach the level of development you seek.
As a note to my Chileno friends, you will be seeing me still in Chile, as it still remains strong in my heart. I feel I left work undone that I would like to follow up on in the future.
On an ending note, my goals for 2012:
- Run a marathon every single month
- Complete a 50 mileer
- Spread peace to everyone
- Grow stronger as a person.
I love you all and I wish you the best of the best in 2012. Be the best you can be.
(I have not reread nor revised, I apologize for any mistakes or emotional mishaps.)