As the new year begins, I find myself reflecting on everything that happened in 2015. I started the year in a relationship with someone who didn’t know how to be in a relationship. As we get further into a relationship, we tend to ignore the doubt and tell ourselves we can make it work even though deep down we know we can’t. After some miscommunication and a couple of small mistakes, that relationship ended. At the time I wouldn’t realize how much I needed that but instead I spent a month crying every single day because I couldn’t grasp the concept that someone really just did not want a relationship with me. I look back now and I think about how selfish that was because being dumped was exactly what I needed last year. After a month of tears and wondering what I did wrong and begging, yes begging, to get back together, I finally decided that I needed to do something better with my life. I deleted the Microsoft Word document that I had created months earlier that essentially told me what a complete failure I was, I applied to jobs online, and I started coaching at South Orlando Crossfit. After landing a job at a law firm, I slowly started gaining my confidence back. I was working at the law firm during the day, coaching after work, then bartending at night and I was enjoying every minute of it. In August, I heard about a job opening overseas with a company called Vectrus and I sent them my resume. After landing the job, I decided that I would spend my last couple of weeks in the United States going to the cities I’ve always dreamed of going to and spending time doing things I had never done. I quit my job at the law firm and planned trips back to back, I had a new city or place to visit almost every weekend before I left the United States.
The first city I went to was Chicago, IL. I’m a huge Chicago Bears fan so I went to my first home game in Soldier Field while I was there. I went to the skydeck, I ate real deep dish pizza, and I saw the bean. I did everything I wanted to do in Chicago and it was amazing.
The following weekend, I went to New York City with my parents and my little brother. We stayed in the Westin hotel in Times Square, we saw Lion King on Broadway sitting only five rows back, we went to an NFL football game and watched the Jacksonville Jaquars play the New York Jets three rows behind the field goal, we visited the 9/11 memorial and went into Freedom Tower, we rode the subway, had lots of laughs and most importantly, enjoyed each others company.
The following week, a group of friends and I decided to travel to Columbus, Ohio for the Ohio State vs Michigan State game. Although it was cold and rainy, Ohio is tons of fun and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes Ohio State and alcohol.
Before I knew it, my last weekend in Florida had slowly creeped up on me. I spent my last night with friends from my Crossfit gym dancing, drinking and crying the night away at a tiny underground club called Stardust. I left the bar, changed and hopped straight onto the plane. Goodbye Florida!
Before I flew to Kuwait, I had to go through a validation process at Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX. I spent a week in Texas because we had to get medically cleared and do some mandatory military training provided by the army which was very interesting for people who have no prior service. After leaving Texas, it took us about a day and a half to finally land in Kuwait City. When we arrived at the airport, we were bussed to the main airport where we received our temporary Kuwait visas and had our passports stamped. I was fascinated with getting my passport stamped for the first time, I felt like a real traveler.
The contractors working with my company have to stay in a transit company flat during our first week because we had to go through the company training. The company housing looked like a real world house, there were different rooms with bunk beds and a shared living and dining area. After the week of training, everyone in the company was sent their separate ways and if you were staying in Kuwait City then you were assigned a flat, also known as an apartment in the United States. Once I finally got settled into my new flat, I hung out with my friend Diego who has slowly been introducing me to many people in the city. I spent my Christmas with them, eating arepas and empanadas, dancing to Latin music and screaming Justin Beiber at the top of our lungs. I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun being away from home on a holiday.
Reflecting back on 2015, it started out a little rocky but you live and learn from mistakes. We tend to look at things in the moment and reflect on our past instead of moving forward. I didn’t realize how blessed I was until I was looking at the Kuwait sunset with two of my newest friends and I stood there and just reflected on my life over the past year. I have a great job, a supportive family and amazing friends, and I get to travel to places in the world that people only dream about. I wouldn’t say I’m lucky, I would just say I’m blessed to have the opportunity to live in another country and meet amazing people every day. Your life is exactly what you make it, take the negative things and turn that energy into something positive.