"Your life is your story. Write well. Edit often." - Susan Statham
As I prepare to close your chapter in my life and begin writing the next one, I first want to look back and reflect on the last twelve months. You have been quite a year, filled with many highs and just as many lows, but there have been a lot of opportunities to learn and grow from each experience and you have given so much that I can take with me into the future.
I started the year shaky and uncertain, beaten down from a long and hard separation in my marriage and feeling vertiginous from needing to keep so many balls in the air at once. You were the year of letting go. Letting go of the past, of the hurt, and of the regret. The year of letting go of people who are negative and happy being unhappy. Of accepting that there are some things I simply cannot change, and there are people who will not love and accept me for who I am. You were the year of allowing myself to move beyond these things and see brighter days ahead.
You were also the year of letting those grains of self-doubt and loathing slip through my fingers like sand and fall back to the earth. I've spent way too much of my life picking myself apart at the seams and yanking my stuffing out because I'm not as good, smart, pretty, funny, outgoing or successful as someone else. With the gentle reminders of some very important people in my life, I'm learning to love myself again, to be gentle with myself and to see myself as a person worthy of love and one who has an important story to share.
You were the year of growth for me. I had to re-learn the basics of living a life of solitude, something most learn in their early twenties that I never got to experience because of having been partnered up my entire adult life. You were the year of learning to appreciate "me time" and self-care again. The year of trusting myself to stand steady on my own two feet. The year of believing that I am capable of doing whatever I set my mind to.
You also brought a lot of growth, professionally. I spent quite a bit of time sharpening my skills and honing in on what I truly want to focus on here on the blog. I concentrated on fine-tuning my voice and how it translates on paper (and the screen) and working up the courage to share my writing, off the blog. It wasn't easy but each baby step builds more confidence and allows me to set and meet bigger goals every day.
You were the year of hard goodbyes. The year of losing two very dear women in my life but not getting to say goodbye to either of them. The year of losing family and friends as the result of a nasty divorce. The year of moving on from a relationship that wasn't going anywhere. The year of going from full-time nanny to sorely missing my sister and her kids after they moved away to a new town.
But you were also the year of new connections. I restored some old friendships, made some new ones and grew very close to a few blogging buddies, whom I now call dear friends. You were the year of surrounding myself with people who inspire and encourage me, who push me forward and make me want to reach new heights. And best of all, you were the year of falling in love again. Of opening my heart and finding my soul mate in the most unlikely of places. I will forever be grateful to you for allowing our paths to cross that warm June night in an airport lobby.
You were quite the year, 2016. There were so many good things that came out of you, and a handful of not-so-good, but each and every experience brought along with it a lesson. I learned so much about myself - what I like and dislike, what makes me happy, what drives me, and what I need to be successful in life. I also learned a lot about the world around me by broadening my horizon, reading new things, meeting new people, and thinking in new ways. Most importantly, I learned that change isn't always a bad thing. Sometimes, it can be the driving force that you need in life.
You were great 2016, but it's time to peace out. 2017 waits for no one!
All my love,