A New Year, A Fiercer Me
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A New Year, A Fiercer Me

An open letter to 2017 for allowing me to be a fully broken mess but slowly allowing me to build myself up again.

A New Year, A Fiercer Me
Karla Saltos

Dear 2017,

It has been a battle with you. You and I have had a love-hate relationship for the past 365 days. There were times where I absolutely couldn’t wait for us to end and there have been times where I couldn’t be happier. There have been many battles but just to let you know, I have won the war.

This war has been one made for a warrior. In this past year, I have become triumphant. You took a lot from me but I have gained even more. I fought my battles with my intellect, strength, and love. I was beaten to ground many times over. I have been wounded emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Literally. However, I haven’t allowed any of it terminate me.

Some of the most important people in my life have left my side. It took years for me to see their true colors but it’s okay. Better late than never, right? I sincerely wish them the best and thank them for our memories but it is time to move on. It’s heartbreaking, at one point I felt so lost and confused at how years with them could easily dissolve into thin air without a proper goodbye.

It was better that way because there will never be a proper goodbye.

So, thank you for all of those who have stepped out of my life. You have your reasons and I have mine. I prayed to God to protect me from those trying to harm me and suddenly, one by one, you all started walking out. God listens to your prayers even if you were hoping for a different answer. Remember that and don’t question it, only time will show you exactly what He is doing.

As many of those who have walked out, even more, beautiful and marvelous people have entered my life from all races, ethnicities, and places and at the most unexpected times. Whether in the classroom, at meetings, on the field, in the gym, or on the street, the number of individuals that have impacted my life this year has increased significantly. I have gained wisdom, insight, and most importantly, authentic relationships.

From traveling on my own to a different state and living there for a month to finding a deep passion for kickboxing to creating my own organization, this year has given me nothing but blessings. My education has provided the most remarkable opportunities to meet exceptional professors, alumni, and mentors. I took on various roles in the work place that were challenging and competitive but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Don’t get me wrong, I failed countless times throughout the year. However, I prefer to look at them as ways that didn’t work and persisting until I found the way that did. Persistency is key in hitting the gym, eating healthy, or starting your own business. You must have it in you to keep you going, to keep trying, and to never quit or else you will not succeed.

So yes, there were also many tough times with the family, many financial hardships, and difficult friendships but thank you.

Thank you for teaching me the importance of selfishness. It has been a year about making the best decisions for myself, my wellbeing, and my time. Even if other people felt offended or hurt, I had to do it.

You have to reach that level of self-love where your inner peace becomes a priority rather than what others want. This battle was one of the hardest as I always tend to say “yes.” However, there is a secret power behind saying “no” and not feeling guilty about it.

That power is the key to your happiness.

Be selfish with your time because you will never get it back. Go out with yourself, be truly alone, spend a day in the city, and treat yourself to a delicious dinner. These simple things make a massive difference in developing your character.

My advice for 2018? Take on every opportunity coming your way, meet different people, make time for strangers, date yourself, take a trip on your own, be a leader, and most importantly, never stop loving.

Don’t let a past heartbreak or betrayal destroy your gift of love. It’s a superpower. If anything, love in a more profound way because you know you can. If you do, you will receive that love back.

What’s better than this you may ask? It will come to you in the most unexpected way with the most unexpected but beautiful and special individual. There’s no better way to start the year than with an open heart.

I have been triumphant this year, I have conquered myself and this war. In all sincerity, I have been mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted but when I look back, everything does happen for a reason.

Thank you to all of those who supported and doubted me; thank you to those who shared their wisdom and dreams with me; thank you to God for never leaving my side and always picking me up when I was ready to give up; and finally, thank you for allowing me to be a fully broken mess but slowly allowing me to build myself up again with self-love and respect.

I am ending the year stronger than how I started. I am proud to say I am happy, whole, and full of love. And to you who are reading this, we each have a story so I know we have been warriors throughout the past 365 days; 2017, we succeeded, cheers to 2018 champs.

With Love,

A Fiercer Me

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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