Looking Back On 2016 In 2017

Looking Back On 2016 In 2017

It's behind us.

Looking back on 2016, it's been a really interesting year filled with both highs and lows. It was a year filled with the most amazing moments and the most devestating.

This year in particular was a year of self-growth. This year I promised myself that I would stop putting everyone's happiness before mine and for the first time, I did. I stopped living for others and really grew into a person I enjoyed. Because of my promise to focus on myself, I learned to deal with each challenge that faced me in a different way.

Of course this year wasn't perfect. The year started off especially low - learning to deal with things I could never have imagined would happen. The months slowly got better and I learned to love the life I was living. I read self-help books, I looked inward, and just really began to focus on myself. I was strong both mentally and physically. I felt absolutely great and when things went wrong, I was calm and strategized rather than throwing in the towel. As the months went on, I started slipping and all of a sudden, one little instance rocked my world. I started to question myself in every aspect of my life. I couldn't believe that after all the work I had put in, I was falling back into that negative energy. . .so I decided to do something about it. This year I learned to take ahold of my happiness and put my needs before others. After all, if you don't love yourself, no one can love you.

I learned to use my voice. Both professionally and personally, I was struggling to use my voice. I allowed my anxiety to overcome me and it kept me from speaking out about what is important to me. I allowed others to tell me how to think, feel, and be and I HATED it. Others took advantage of me because I allowed them to! It got to the point where I finally needed to take control of my life. I started slow - speaking more publicly about my passions and opinions. As I gained confidence, I was able to stand up for myself and stopped letting people take advantage of me. And I felt amazing. Sometimes people victimize themselves because they're used to taking advantage of you for not speaking up. However, I am no longer going to apologize for being honest and being myself.

This year I have learned so much about myself.

I grew into a healthier, happier, and stronger woman and I was able to help myself become the person I was longing to be. That to me is a major success. Although I have a long way to go, I've started the process of growth and that's what's important.

Bring it on, 2017.

Cover Image Credit: Buddhism Guide

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads


I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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An Incurable Disease Doesn't Change The Love I Have For You

Because one day the one you love the most is fine and the next day they're not, it causes devastation you never truly recover from.


Loving someone with an incurable disease is the most emotionally straining thing I have ever experienced.

My significant other and I have been together for almost six years. During the summer of 2018, we all noticed the significant changes he was going through. He had lost around fifty pounds and had a lack of appetite. We had figured something was going on, however, we didn't realize it was anything serious.

Fast forward to the Fall semester of 2018. I had visited my boyfriend and we had expressed certain concerns, such as, through the night I would try and get him to stop uncontrollably itching his legs to the point of bleeding, or that he was looking a little yellow and was exhausted all the time. After seeing his sister in November, while I was at school, she pleaded with him to go to urgent care because he did not look good. He was yellow, exhausted, and very sickly looking. We didn't realize that the urgent care visit would be the precedent of the rest of our lives.

After coming home for Thanksgiving and spending a week straight in the hospital with him, it finally set in that something was not right. Between all the vomit, getting moved for testing, the weakness, the constant calling for medications because the pain was so severe, and the almost month-long stay in the hospital, it hit me full force that something was really wrong. Words will never truly describe the emotions I was feeling, or the burden of my thoughts that I felt were too selfish to pass on anyone, so I kept them to myself.

When we finally got the diagnosis, we were surprised. PSC, otherwise known as Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, is an incurable liver disease that affects the bile ducts which become scarred and inflamed, more likely than not lead to cirrhosis and an inevitable transplant. There was no cure, rather the only solution was a liver transplant, and even then the disease can be recurring.

I was thinking selfishly. I was torn in two. What would our future look like? Could we have children? Could we ever do the things we used to?

Loving someone with an incurable disease is a mix of emotions. There is a constant fear in the back of my mind that he is going to wake up in intense pain and have to be rushed to the hospital. There is a constant fear of every time waiting for the bi-weekly blood test results to come back, in fear that his Bilirubin spiked again or he is undergoing a flare up and needs to be hospitalized. There is a constant anxiety that one day he's going to be fine, and the next day he won't be. Even the simple things, such as laying beside one another, was a constant fear I had, due to the pain he was in every day. What if I hit him in my sleep on accident? What if I accidentally hugged a little too tightly and caused him pain?

Loving someone with an incurable disease can be a fluctuation of emotions, however, he makes it worth it.


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