I came into 2017 having come back home from abroad and unsure of what my next steps were. I had few ideas what the year would hold and the ideas I did have never came to fruition. The year continued to surprise me in amazing and heart breaking ways. It held some big life changes and in the midst of that has challenged my own idea of where I want to be and what I want to be doing.
After 2016, a year of big travel visiting over 50 cities and crossing 31 things off my bucket list 2017 seemed mediocre. Because I wasn’t constantly getting on a plane or train or bus to new cities I gave myself the illusion that this year wasn’t an important one. But 2017 was just as life changing as 2016. It snuck up on me giving me small changes happening gradually. And suddenly when looking back on the year I am amazed in how many areas of my life have changed in a huge way and how many things I had still managed to cross off my bucket list.
It was said the 2017 was meant to be a year to set a foundation for the years ahead and that is definitely what it has done for me by challenging me and changing me. It forced me to places within myself that I didn’t know I was capable of. I remember I just kept thinking, “I don’t know what this all means yet but I know it’s important”. A lot of puzzle pieces were given to me and it took retrospect to see the bigger picture. I think there are still some things that happened this year that wont make sense to me until further in the future but I do know I have built a foundation for myself that was more necessary than I knew.
It was a year that handed me as many powerful changes as it did hardships. It didn’t just do this in my personal life but it did so in the world. A lot of terrible things happened around the globe but these things ignited something in people to stand up and say “this is not okay, we wont stand for this”. It pushed me to change my lifestyle to do better by the world and it opened my eyes to big ideas I had never known before. The cruelty and destruction unlocked courage in people to finally stand up for themselves and their beliefs and it handed me situations that also force me to say, “I wont accept this”. And as I watched in horror and in amazement at the events of this year, I was doing the same in my own life.
2017 pushed and I pushed back. It forced me to face myself and face my perceptions and understanding of the world. It was a bit of a street fight and 2017 won but I am glad it did because despite standing up bloody and bruised it gave me huge personal growth and life changes. What I gained this year was so essential to continuing to go after what I want and living a more fulfilled life. It has helped me to stand up stronger in myself and my understanding of the world.
I am glad the year is done but that doesn’t mean I am not thankful for all that it has given me. I stand today in the new year knowing more than ever that “there are far better things ahead than anything we leave behind”. So here is to looking ahead and using the lessons we learned to help us get to where we want to be this year and to get us to new and delightfully surprising places. May this year bring us all more healing and happiness.