In the grand scheme of life, a year doesn't seem to be that long. It's just another year of school, another year of work, another year of planned and unplanned events. However, what we sometimes cease to remember is the fact that it's also just another year of growing and changing. For some, the change and growth is more drastic than others. For me, the holiday season carries a lot of significance, so it's been causing me to reflect a bit more than usual.

When I look back on this time last year, I was not the same person.

I was not strong.

I was not confident.

I was not sure of myself.

I was not happy.

It's so hard to imagine because after all, this is my favorite time of the year. However, it also happens to be the time last year when everything built up and began to crash and burn. My world as I knew it was simply falling through my hands like grains of sand. I couldn't catch myself and kept sinking further and further into a deep, dark canyon.

No matter what direction I turned, left or right, everything that I had once known was changing. I was losing my sense of who I was and losing people whom I thought I would have forever by my side.

A short year later, I am able to see how much I too have changed, right along with everything else around me.

Things were not going my way, so I adapted.

I couldn't wake up in the morning without feeling bad about myself, so I adapted.

I wasn't finding happiness outside of myself, so I adapted.

I learned how to find strength in difficult situations, a strength that has continued to help me through more hard times.

I learned how to love myself for who I am, because who I am is the only person I'll ever be and I should own it.

I learned that my self-worth was not dependent upon what others thought of me, because deep down all that mattered was the opinions of myself and those who truly loved me.

It was through these very lessons and realizations that I found the happiness I had been dreaming of. It didn't take me a lifetime, fifty years or a decade. No, it took me a year. A year of my life. A year that most people don't count for anything.

A year counts a lot for me.

It's important to take the time to witness the changes you undergo under a short span of time. It's not until you do this that you will truly realize your potential as a human being and what you are capable of. Keep pushing forward, and only look back to see how far you've come, or determine how much farther you'd like to go.