You were challenging. You were relentless. You were nothing I expected, but everything it turned out I needed. You took so much away from me, but you also offered me more than I ever could have imagined.
You broke me down. Like, really low down.
You made me question my motives and my actions, my past and my future, my beliefs and my promises. You forced me to come up with answers that I believed in. You forced me to build myself up. You made me cry. Oh how you made me cry. You showed me this crazy fury I have buried inside. But you made me laugh at it all. You gave me relief. You gave me so much love.
I don’t often make resolutions. I like to think of the start of a new year as starting fresh, but not necessarily starting over. Typically for me, it’s a time of reflection. Of self consciousness. Of taking stock in where you were, where you are, and where you want to be.
I think that taking stock is why one year ago today I broke my rule and made one single resolution for 2016. I had realized that I had come to a point where I was completely lost. Where I had fought so much to hold something up that I had sunk down underneath it. My head was no longer above water, and I began to realize that no one was jumping in after me with a life preserver.
I was so low at that point that something in those last days of 2015 made me realize that where I wanted to be was at least above water. At least. I could start with that.
So I resolved. I vowed to myself to stand up for myself. To be honest and patient and blunt with myself and to make my worth known. I resolved to make it the year where I got back to doing things that made me happy and made me shine. Things that would bring me back above the water.
I didn’t have a clue what the year had in store for me.
To say it lightly, 2016 threw some obstacles at me. Starting at day one. Starting in the first hour of 2016 day one. But it was what I asked for. Part of my “one, small” resolution was to regain the ability to stand up for myself. To have strong opinions and to have strong conversations about them. To learn about what is important to me. To learn more about the world around me from the perspective of all of the brilliant people I am lucky to surround myself with. To support myself while creating a support system that I really trust. To be creative in all the ways that I love to create, and to perform to the best of my ability. To try new things, to make mistakes and to be able to find the lesson in them and move on. To shine and to be confident in my own abilities and my own skin.
I accomplished all of those things in 2016. Every single one.
And where I am right now looks nothing like where I thought I would be, but I’m here. I’m here and I’m standing. And as much as I willed 2016 to end all year long, as much as I just wished for the clean slate of 2017 to come and hoped it would be a smoother sail from here on out…
I will never forget 2016.
I am grateful for its challenges, lessons, friendships, hardships, triumphs and reminders that this is such a beautiful life if you tred enough water to see it. That we have such strength in us. We have so much to give and so many amazing moments to enjoy with every person who walks down the path with us.
I welcome 2017. So many stories and plans had just begun to be laid out this past year. I can’t wait to see how the adventures continue. I can’t wait to see how the characters develop and what new challenges and struggles are waiting in the future. I look forward to learning whatever new lessons that could possibly be left to learn.
I’m not sure I’m declaring the bold resolution that I did last year, but I will say this. If 2016 was the year to get my head above water? In 2017, I’d really, really like to fly.
Happy New Year.