Well y’all, the time has finally come. 2016 is coming to a close.
And can I be the first to say: Thank. God.
This year has been easily one of the most roller coaster years of my life. Its peaks were amazing, but its valleys were terrible. I’ve never been through so much in such a short span of time. I came across a quote the other day that I really think sums it up perfectly:
It has been one of the greatest and most difficult years of my life. I learned everything is temporary; moments, feelings, people, flowers. I learned love is about giving everything and letting it hurt. I learned that vulnerability is always the right choice because it is easy to be cold in a world that makes it so very difficult to remain soft. I learned all things come in twos, life and death, pain and joy, salt and sugar, me and you. It is the balance of the universe. It has been the year of hurting so bad but living so good, making friends out of strangers and strangers out of friends. Learning mint chocolate chip ice-cream will fix just about everything, and for the pain it can’t there will always be my mother’s arms. We must learn to focus on warm energy, always. Soak our limbs in it and become better lovers to the world, for if we can’t learn to be kinder to each other how will we ever learn to be kind to the most desperate part of ourselves.
When I read this quote it really touched me. I had been so focused on the negative of this year that I had really forgotten some of the positive things that had come out of it.
I moved out entirely on my own. And, while that did bring about it’s own financial struggles, it’s been an amazing experience overall. Prior to this I’d always lived with my gram, a roommate, or a boyfriend. Living by yourself is an entirely new realm and now I really don’t think I could imagine it any differently (I’ve discovered I’m very fond of having my own space).
I adopted my pup, Levi. This has easily been the biggest highlight of my year. He is so amazing and I couldn’t be luckier to have gotten such an intelligent, funny, stubborn dog. He fills me with so much joy!
I got the chance to travel to New Mexico to see my best friend. We’ve been friends since we were 8 years old (that’s a little over 17 years now!). And let me tell ya, sometimes I miss her so much it’s silly. She really is the sister I never had, so getting the opportunity to go out there and be with her is always amazing. I’ve been out there since she moved away, but each time offers it’s own new and exciting adventures. If you’ve never been out to the ABQ I highly recommend it!
I started this blog! Seriously y’all, this one was pretty stellar. Going into this process was super nerve wracking. I knew that I would have to put myself out there and basically bleed myself dry for this. I expected nothing less and let me tell ya, it did not disappoint. However, it has been one of the most amazing experiences. Knowing that your words are being read across the globe and that people can find something to relate to in it is… strange. But in a good way, ya know?
I followed my passion for photography. Before this year I had dabbled in it a little bit, but nothing major. I knew I loved it and tried to shoot whenever I could but I never really made it a priority. But, this year I really decided to focus on being vocal about my skills, developing a brand and it has really paid off. I photographed my first wedding this year which was phenomenal and I’m looking forward to growing my business even more over the next few months.
Not everything was positive, of course. My family suffered multiple blows and we lost some amazing people. I loved and I lost and I let myself be jaded from the pain. I walked away from someone who meant the world to me because I no longer had the energy to pour into a toxic friendship. I had to cut people out of my life that I thought would be there for the long haul and while overall, it was for the best, it’s never easy to see a friendship or relationship fail.
Over the course of this year I’ve learned so much. It’s humbled me in ways that I didn’t really recognize until much later down the line.
I’ve learned to sympathize more with the plights of others, to try to be kind first and right second, to try and listen without giving advice, that experience is must more precious than possessions, that love (even love that was lost) is worth it, that putting yourself out there can be scary but is, ultimately, necessary.
I’ve grown so much more as a person than I ever thought I could in the span of just 12 short months.
One thing I did learn is that I need to put my health first. I had lost track of that while focusing on the projects that I got off the ground this year. I’ve gained weight (more than I care to admit), and I lost sight of some of the other things that I used to love to do (running, painting).
I’m trying to create a plan that will allow me to balance things better, while making my healthy my primary focus.
I’m trying to look at next year (which is only a few hours away at this point) with hopeful eyes. I’m looking forward to learning and growing. To becoming a more well rounded person both physically and mentally.
I’m positive that 2017 will have it’s challenges, I’m not unrealistic. But, I’m going into this making a conscious decision to be open to the challenges. When each negative thing occurs try to find the lesson, try to find the light. I need to learn to be kinder to myself when I do fall, and not focus on the negativity, and some of the things that I’ve learned this year will help me do just that.
Sitting here on my couch as the year winds down to a close I can’t help but feeling like all things considered…. I’m exactly where I’m meant to be.
Stay safe out there kids. Until next time.