It's the last week of the last month of the year, and there's no shortage of emotions that come with that realization. Relief, dread, shock, it could go all over the place. However, what also comes with this time of the year is a lot of reflection - on both myself and on the year that has just passed. So much has changed in 366 days, it's both terrifying and thrilling. So I'd like to raise a proverbial glass to 2016 and all the chaotic, wonderful, messy, awful, beautiful life it brought with it.
To high school (and graduating from it), thank you for being finally over, but also thank you for the memories and experiences and lessons I'll carry for the rest of my life. I learned so much about who I am, and who I want to be as a person. I'll forever cherish both the people and the memories.
To the friend that didn't make it to the end of my high school career, just know that the years of our friendship meant the world to me and I'll forever cherish the memories we shared. I wouldn't have wanted to be mistaken as sisters for so many years with anybody else. I'm forever grateful for our friendship and the loving, open arms both you and your family held out for me.
To the friend that never went through high school with me, thanks for always being just a text away. Thanks for still being a text away. We never got to see each other as much as we liked and now we can't either with college, but every time we talk it's like no time has passed. Thank you for being a faithful constant in my life. It means more to me than you know.
To the high school teacher that told me I would bloom after graduation, you were right. Thank you for believing in me and seeing something in me that I never saw myself. I can't wait to see where life takes me now, and I have a little more faith in myself because of you.
To the coach that gave me not only a great role model, but a friend as well. Thanks for always being an open ear whether I wanted to simply complain or talk about something that was bothering me. You always knew just what to say and how to make me laugh. I'll forever be grateful for my relationship with you, and can only hope to continue to have you as a friend.
To college (and new beginnings), thank you for being even more crazy and wonderful as I'd imagine you would be. I'm beyond excited for the next few years of my life, with the promise of so many new experiences and memories. Thank you for giving me a fresh, clean start in a new place at a time when I needed it most.
To the friend down the hall (and my future roommate), I'm so beyond blessed to have met you. Thank you for making me do crazy things but still making sure I get to class on time. Thank you for the open ear and knowing when something is wrong. I don't know what I would do without our Starbucks dates or lap around the quad when we're delaying going to our classes. In such a short time, you have become such an essential part of my life, but I'm so happy and grateful for it.
To the best friend who I fell madly for, thanks for reminding me there are good guys still in the world. We may not have worked out as anything more than friends, but thank you so much for being my best friend. Your friendship really does mean the world to me. Thanks for always being able to make me laugh and talking on the phone with me for hours, even if I don't have much to say.
To the man who stepped in to love my mother, thank you for loving me and my sister as well. I'm so blessed to have met you and now have you as such an integral part of our lives. You are easily more than just my mom's boyfriend, you are now my friend as well and I'm so happy about that. Thank you for making my mom so happy, and thank you for making me so happy too. There's nothing I love more than the smile on her face when you're around.
To the babies that made my family grow, you are loved more than you know and I'm grateful everyday for the beautiful additions you have been to this family. I am so blessed to have you both in my life and love watching you grow. I can't wait to see the people you become one day. I know I'll be so proud.
Most importantly, to my mom, thank you for being the steadfast rock that I so much need in my roller coaster of a life. Come hell or high water, you are the one constant I can forever lean on. Thank you for always believing in me and pushing me to be so much more than I ever imagined I could be. This year has just been the beginning. I swear now I will make you proud.
To 2016, thank you for being the crazy chaos that you were. I loved and hated every minute of it, all at the same time. To everybody that made it to the end of my year, thank you for your friendship and blessing my life in a myriad of ways. To those who didn't make it to my December, I still thank you for your friendship and blessing my life in whatever way. I learned from each and every thing that happened to me this year, and grew as a person in so many ways.
I could take ages and thousands of words and still wouldn't be able to express how grateful I am for the past year and all the people in it. One article will never feel like enough; however, it's a start. So to everybody reading this, thank you for gracing my life in whatever way you did or do. Whether you realize it or not, I'm beyond thankful for each and every person who has come into my life. If you helped me or hurt me or simply just loved me, either way you made me who I am today writing this article. For the first time in a long time, I can proudly say that I like who that girl is. So thank you, for everything.
To 2017, I'm ready for you. Here's to new beginnings.
Let the adventure begin.