As the last few hours of 2016 begin to trickle down as I am writing this, I find myself reliving and reflecting upon this last year. Was 2016 what I hoped or thought it would be? In some ways no, and in many ways yes. 2016 was trip if I ever saw one. I could spend these 600 or so words reliving my highs and rehashing my lows, but I’m going to try and say a bit more.

2016 wasn’t all good, but it definitely wasn’t all bad. This was the year that I had to take a couple scary steps into adulthood. I got my first apartment and had to become open to living with roommates again. Something that intimidated me greatly. But I have never been so glad that I did. A decision that I had so many reservations about turned out to be one of the best choices I could have made for myself. I am lucky enough to be living with two amazing caring people, who have helped me to become more confident with myself and my ability to coexist with people harmoniously. My apartment was easily one of the best decisions I made In 2016

This next, is not a regret, but a lesson I wish hadn’t taken me so long to learn.

Do not let your pain consume you.

2016 was in a few ways very painful for me. I lost one of the most important people I’ve ever known. Someone who has had such a profound effect on the woman I am, and is in many ways, responsible for the very best parts of me. He was someone I’ve had with me since the day I was born and someone who will stay with me forever. The world is strange enough without him, and I have no idea was this brave new year will bring.And while this semester was a productive and positive one, it was not without it’s painful moments and lessons. I had to brave some of those moments and deal with their residual effects. I learned that I simply cannot protect myself or my heart from being hurt, but I can make it stronger, so that when the pain hits, I am able to weather it better. And that it’s that pain that will make it stronger.

My Hopes for 2017?

They’re pretty simple really.

  • PLACES
  • PEOPLE
  • POSSIBILITIES.

Expanding my bubble is always key. I’m writing from a coffee shop In a small California town, and these last few days have given me a lot of perspective. I’ve been reminded of how big the world really is. As much as I love my tiny college town back home it can be very suffocating, something I’ve come to realize just how much that affected me this semester. When your world exists between a few blocks, everything can feel so much bigger and scarier that it really is. So I would like to spend 2017 exploring and reminding myself of that.

People can come into your world and leave it in a split second. You can never know just how important that person is until you face a reality without them. And sometimes people will surprise you. I would like 2017 to be full of new and exciting faces and hope to remember to make an effort to treasure the ones I am already so fortunate to have.

Take those chances, seize the opportunities and if they don’t pan out learn rather than regret. If there is one thing I have learned this past year is that you experiences good or bad will shape not only you but the choices you will make. And with every experience that comes your way, make sure you take something from it.