Andrew and I were driving home from Austin last night and I was scrolling through my facebook looking for an old article I reposted a few months back. As I was scrolling through my page I was reminded of all the wonderful things this year has brought me and I said out loud, “this year has been so so good to me.” Andrew was a little puzzled at my statement, because he kind of thought otherwise and I told him, “The best year of my life was 2014, hands down. And I told myself at the beginning of this year that 2017 was going to top that, and so far, it has.” He asked why and it sparked conversation between us as well as the idea for this blog post. So here it is.
The last few months of 2016 were really rough for me. I lost a love one due to cancer (fuck cancer) and that in itself was awful. Andrew and I ending up breaking up and that was really rough. A lot of confusion, heartache, pain, and miscommunication happened btwn the both of us and it was not easy. At all. It is one of the hardest things I have ever gone through emotionally. Despite all of that, I wanted to start 2017 on a good positive note. I was determined to make it an incredible year, regardless of all the shit I was going through. I started the year with a lot of good friends, and went on my first road trip of the year in the end of January. I went skydiving and turned 21 in February. I went home and on a family cruise in March. Nothing exciting happened in April.. honestly a couple of shitty things happened in April, which is probably the most negative part of my year. Andrew and I decided to get back together and I got to watch him graduate college and I also moved into my first apartment! (which I have been dreaming about since before I even graduated high school). I went back home in June for my little sister’s graduation which was a blast and much needed. Andrew ventured around Europe but eventually made the final move to SA, which is something we have been longing for since December 2015. My family came down to visit Andrew and I for the 4th of July, they left and the next day Tal and her boyfriend Darren came down to visit, they left and a week later Andrew’s family came down for a visit. And that brings us to now, we went to Austin for a few days to celebrate Mama Rachel’s birthday! And on the drive home is where the conversation started and the idea for this blog post was born. Besides all of the amazing things I got to do this year, I’ve also had a lot of accomplishments. I’ve kept up with my blog more this year (which is one of my goals for the New Year) and I’ve been pretty passionate about my writing. I’ve made THREE YouTube vlogs this year! (You can check them out HERE). I earned my associates degree, which I know isn’t something to brag about but when you had absolutely zero interest in going to college and then you get a degree it’s a pretty good feeling. I’ve started the process of apply for my x-ray registry which I plan to take and pass by the end of the year! I have done SO much self-growing this year, more than I even knew possible which I will forever be grateful for and proud of. I have learned so much about myself, the people around me and the people closest to me. But more than anything, the biggest most important accomplishment of this year is the fact that I have overcome things I did not think I would survive. I have been dealt a shitty deck of cards over the past 7ish months and I am standing here, writing this blog post, stronger than ever before. I have handled things, some better than others, with what I like to think is grace. I have tried to stay true to who I am and what I believe, and both of those things were tested this year. And I sometimes fell off track, there was a period of time when I felt so lost on who I was and what I was doing. I have always tried to remain kind, I have tried to be a good person. A loving friend. A decent coworker. I have had my heart broken more times this year than I think anybody deserves to experience in such a short time span, but every awful heartbreaking thing I encountered made me stronger. Made me more loving. Made me more kind. Made me more self-aware, of the things I want… of the things I need… of the things I deserve. Every single thing life has thrown at me this year has made me the women I am today. And I’m not one to be conceded or “so into myself” but I love the person I am. Because I’ve fought to become her. I’ve developed into somebody I am proud to be.
From the outside looking in, I bet a lot of people would say this has been a terrible year. So much bad has happened. When I think back to each month I remember certain instants of my heart shattering rather than every happy experience. And it sucks. So when I’m reminded of all the good times, the unforgettable memories, and the accomplishments; I have to be grateful. I have to smile through the tears and shout, “THIS HAS BEEN THE BEST YEAR OF MY LIFE” because it has been.
One of my most valuable characteristics that I see within myself is that no matter what, I can always look on the bright side of things. I can always find a silver lining. I can always find the good. And although I have struggled with that, my ability to do so has been tested so much and so often this year it is not gone. I am still able to do it. I have to. It is the very best way to live. I’ve got a future blog post coming soon about why 2014, to this day, has been the best year of my life. But watch out NYE, there may be a new “best year” in town.