thank you, 2018

2018, you taught me so much.

In 2018, I learned to see my losses as a stepping stone towards something bigger, better even. 2018 was the beginning of me seeing my potential, but to learn that, I had to face the end of some relationships I thought I would have forever. I am beginning to accept the reasons why. I am trying to understand that the things that hurt me only carve a path for a better, much brighter future because I am meant to be wherever I end up anyway. Understanding that every failure and mistake is leading to my inevitable success was the key to life — once I realized this, I had it all figured out.

I used to relate the end with regret or fear of how things will never be the same again. Now, I have come to see that once these endings occur, it is okay to start that new beginning. I need that new beginning. When something ends, I  have learned how to give myself time. A day or two but never more than that. There is no harm in taking the time you need, but the fear of my life turning out worse will only make it worse. Instead, I should focus on the abundance of love and new opportunities coming my way — because there is always something to look forward to.

2018 taught me to take the risk. When my faith lacked most and my insecure thoughts flooded my brain, I took the risk, and I never looked back. I learned to believe in the small amount of hope that told me things would work out when I stopped acting like a little bitch (sorry, there’s no other way to say it). I stretched my comfort zone (not a lot, but 2019 will be different). I learned to not only find myself but to be myself. I was determined to find her again, and I can truly say I think I did.

Throughout 2018, I learned change can be very painful but often necessary. It is better to flunk out than succeed and be miserable. So I found my courage and took a leap into the unknown. It is also better to have faith that something beautiful is coming than it is to stay stuck in the past. I wanted to go ahead and live —  why wait? I never want to live a life I will regret, and I do not want to always be wondering about the what ifs.

THE PAST IS THE PAST FOR A REASON — wow, this one was a hard lesson. Many, many times this year was I reminded that I should never look back, and I should always forward. The many mistakes of yesterday will sculpt the present of today. And those mistakes, lessons, reasons (whatever you want to call them), have made me who I am, whether my conscious mind knows it or not.

The emotional, mental roller coaster 2018 gave me only made me stronger. My trials and tests have allowed me to fully recognize my strength. No, 2018 has not been a breeze. I wanted to give up often. There were dark, depressing storms I struggled to believe I would get through, but I survived. Negativity, bad luck, and all stereotypically heavy things were placed upon my chest, and it felt like nothing I did would be able to remove it. But there was also good times. Times were my hard work was rewarded with love. Hope brought me to the end of that tunnel — even though sometimes I thought I would stay underground forever.  How crazy is that? Even though I knew I was going to make it, I just wanted to give up. But I am so glad I persevered.

Kim, thank you for reminding me what my true passions are. Because of you, I am now going to school for my passion. I will forever be grateful for you allowing me to assist and teach in your schoolhouse.

Ryan, thank you for finding me a job I love. I am so blessed to be able to work somewhere I have the flexibility to go back to school.

Halee, thank you for confiding in me. It means a lot that my advice and opinions matter to someone. Even though we are far in distance, you are still close to my heart. I miss you often.

Tia, my oldest friend, thank you for being the positivity in my life. I have never once called you when you are in a bad mood. Thank you for your kind words when you may not have known I needed them. Stay beautiful.

Alex, thank you for teaching me patience, for keeping me positive, and for being my friend. By making me laugh, you have made my bad days better, and for that, I could never repay you.

Mama, thank you for supporting me and always making sure I had a safe place to lay my head at night. You have always made sure I felt loved, and I love you more for it xoxo

Dad, thank you for always standing up for me no matter how annoying I tend to get.

Tails, thank you for always believing in me. You call me out when I am wrong but you do it with love — the way a real friend should. You have become a great source of hope for me. With you as my partner in crime, I know I can overcome the overwhelming odds stacked against me. I am constantly at peace with your reassuring words. Thank you for listening to me complain all year, crack jokes at inappropriate times, and laugh so loud that it is embarrassing. Also, thank you for not killing my dog (I know that was really hard for you).

Dana, thank you for not giving up and for taking the path a little less traveled. Now you know what you want, you have learned what it means to love yourself, and you understand that without optimism, you can’t truly be content in life. Because of 2018, you have found this new person, and she is amazing. Try not to lose her, because she is all you got. In 2019, I pray you continue to grow, continue to love yourself and continue to be happy. And remember that if it does not bring you happiness, you can live without it.

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