What do you want?

This is the question that I’ve been asking myself the past few days, just as millions of others have. Four words, thirteen letters. It’s a small question. It should be a simple question.

But it isn’t.

Last year, at this time, I was in a stage of transition. I had just come home after spending two years in North Carolina, I was in a serious relationship, and I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. If you had told my 2013 self that I’d be living in New York, single, and a passionate Pre Law student, I wouldn’t have believed you.

2013 was one of the best years of my life, and it was also one of the hardest. This year I fell in love with running, New York, and a man I thought was going to be my husband. I went to Paris, and Chicago, and saw things that changed my perspective on the world. I also got my heart broken, said goodbye to friends, and learned some tough lessons. In short, 2013 was bittersweet, but it was beautiful.

So as I’m sitting here, reflecting on the past twelve months, I’m asking myself three questions:

What do you want? Where are you going? And who do you want to be?

The answers aren’t as simple as other years, because I don’t want one thing, or two things - In fact, I don’t want things at all.

I want a way of living, that can be sustained not only this year, but in the years to come.

...I want to have wine induced debates at 2 am. I want to be impulsive. I want to swim in the ocean. I want to drink strong coffee, in excessive amounts. I want to walk barefoot, and feel the soil beneath my feet. I want to live on the edge, and not be afraid of jumping off it every once in awhile. I want to use pain as fuel. I want exertion. I want to take chances and earn beautiful scars. I want to be challenged, not coddled. I want an education, not a degree. I want to be involved in my friend’s lives, not just present. I want to be independent. I don’t want to give my heart away again until I can give it fully. I want to find strength in brokenness. I want to travel. I want to live passionately, and freely. I want to leave pieces of my soul everywhere I go. I want to speak in French. I want to wander, and get lost. I want to make love, not have sex. I want to find unexplainable joy in small moments. I want to fight for the things that are important to me. I want to read things that change my perspective. I want to know the rules, and then break them. I want plans of attack, not goals. I want my life to be reflected in my face- in the form of wrinkles, and laugh lines. I want to learn things the hard way. I want to cry, and laugh. I want to be angry, and calm. I want to be nervous, and confident. I want to be vulnerable when I need to be, but also strong; I want to be happy but reflective; and hungry, but satisfied. Mostly, I want to live, I want to feel, and I want to learn. As Edward Abbey once put it ,“[I want my] trails to be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view”...

Happy New Year my friends, I hope 2014 brings you hope, love and happiness.

Meaghan Wessel is a coffee addicted, passionate runner, and English Pre Law student. Her aspirations include marrying Ryan Gosling, and making it through the day without losing her phone and/or sanity.