I know, it was hard. Maybe harder than you (and certainly I) thought it would be. But we made it.
Or maybe it wasn’t very hard at all, for you. If last year was a beautiful, breathtaking time – cherish it. Relish in it. Cheers to it, hard.
It sounds pessimistic, but it won’t last forever. And on the flip side, neither will pain. The tide will always turn so let’s thank those that showed up when we hit the floor. And cheered the loudest. And squeezed the tightest – especially during those moments when you thought you might be broken forever. You’re not and you won’t be. You’re whole, right where you are – on your own and surrounded. Maybe you did your best and maybe you should give yourself a heaping tablespoon of grace.
When I look back at the last year, I give myself whiplash. I’m glad I didn’t know a year ago what was headed my way. The beauty and the beast (for the record, that’s not a reference to characters in my life but instead, happenings). I don’t know if I would’ve thought myself strong enough for all of it. It was one of the most profound years of my life so far, I think – a year that would be impossible to come out of unchanged. It started off so beautiful, on such a high note that was so unexpected and incredible that it only made the midyear fallout that much more difficult. And I just didn’t see it coming. I found myself in the trenches where everything felt hard. Love felt impossibly hard. I remember feeling like I just might drown in the sadness – the waves kept on coming and I feared they’d never stop.
Eventually though, whether I simply adjusted to a new happiness or whether I found my way back – the tide did turn. And that’s the beauty of it – if you keep going, you will find peace. And sometimes, it’s in those moments when life will most surprise you. When the universe might throw you the most glorious curveball.
At the close of this year, I’m in a much brighter place. And I know I’m grateful for that. I know that even knowing I persisted in finding this place will serve me well in the future. It’s comforting, to have learned you have more strength than you believed, to find that you’re braver and more resilient that you could’ve imagined. And that you’re far more loved that you could ever understand. And for someone like me, that is so quick to dismiss the good and harbor the bad, that’s a big thing to recognize, to accept.
Truth be told, I don’t think I can quite see where I’m netting out as I close out the year – I’m still too in it. I need more distance from it, more perspective to see the impact of the last 365 days. How it will change the trajectory I’m on.
I know I learned a lot. So very much. I learned most that it doesn’t do you any good to hold back. To guard yourself. Not really. Oftentimes, in the end – the regret of holding back hurts far more than being vulnerable ever could. As hard as it is for some of us, you’ve got to give love to receive it. You have to leap.
So, 2018, here’s to finding new perspectives. To all the “yous” that came before you – the 5 year old you, the 15 year old you, the 2017 version of you. May they have been carving out a path for you that is full (mostly) of joy but with enough stumbles and u-turns to make it both interesting and full of self-discovery – and grants you empathy.
Here’s to those of you in the trenches and those of you in the clouds, here’s to finding the beauty that can only be found when you’ve hung on long enough to see the bruises fade. Here’s to discovery. Here’s to more kindness. Less judgment and more love. Heaps and heaps of love.