Blog Written & Illustrated by Tawn Le

5 Lessons I’ve Learned from my Adult Gap Year in 2018

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I started off my adult gap year thinking that I'd do a lot of traveling, to which I did, but not in all the places that I imagined. Home, being one of them, with a hospital wristband that stated "Do Not Resuscitate" staring directly at my face. 

After 5 months off from work for my gap year, I've made it to the end of 2018 with much more appreciation of life and even more happy with the decision to leave work.  This privilege allowed me to take a step back and give it the attention it needed.  In certain aspects, I honestly didn't think taking time off would be as difficult as I thought, but life has a funny way of presenting life lessons to you so you know what to do next, and I'm forever grateful for those lessons. 

Below are some lessons I've learned.

  1. It's good to spend some alone time with your thoughts. It's not always pretty nor feels very good at times (ok, a LOT of times), but those are the things that are subconsciously pulling you in your life and you don't realize. Sometimes you don't know why your auto-pilot is set at the speed that it is without taking a look at it.

  2. Love and connection looks and feels the same across the world, and it is still one of the most beautiful things to me. From afar in observations to intimate interactions with people, love felt the same to me even at times where I could barely speak or understand language.

  3. For everything that is ugly, there is something much more beautiful and powerful on the other side.  Let’s be real, the world can be extremely cruel and disgusting and leaves me feeling so hopeless, but for every time I get jaded I witness something miraculous. And that gives me hope.

  4. Time is so precious, spend it wisely even if you're not in the best position. What we do with our time, even the times we spend in our heads, matters.

  5. You are so precious, treat yourself as kind as possible and nourish yourself as best as you can because the world needs you even if you don't think it does at times. Everyone creates a ripple.

So what's next for me?

Great question!

With the exception of some planned trips in 2019, I've decided to stop traveling and stay put so that I can continue to learn and grow (traveling takes a huge toll on my body and I often times get super exhausted).  I want to continue to learn about holistic wellness, improve on my personal health and wellness, and I would like to start practicing Reiki more in the next year. As a student, and not an expert, I'd like to share with you some of my learnings next year because...why the fuck not - education should be democratized.  And finally, I would also like to turn my focus to being more creative and work on fun small projects on the side (also going along with the article “My Intentions for an Adult Gap Year” I wrote earlier this year)!

I’m super excited about the next year and am so happy that I’m able to share this with y’all. I hope you have an amazing holiday season and can’t wait to see everyone then!

And, Of course, nothing is better than pictures right? Below are some pictures from my gap year. Enjoy!