Here we are at the close of 2016. This year has been one for the books, that's for sure. Between the many controversial issues and electing a new president (whoop whoop), 2016 also taught me a few things about myself.
I started the year off scared, honestly. For whatever reason, I was terrified to turn 22. Maybe it was the fact that I was only 8 years away from being 30, or maybe it was because nothing else great happens when you reach later ages. Whatever it was, it was surely silenced. This year has been the best year of my life, despite all the chaos in our country. I started writing for Odyssey in January, and by March I had written and published an article that went completely viral. We're talking being shared around the world, and reaching over 1.5 million shares, viral. It was crazy to see my work being shared and reaching so many people in the way that it did. I received a plethora of comments, friend requests, and messages from people all over the world that were so deeply touched by that article. After reading some of the comments, I felt peace with knowing that the world was being brought together by a commonality instead of being torn apart by what was happening around us.
This year I also entered into a relationship that taught me a lot about myself. Even though it didn't work out, I took a lot of life lessons away from it. I learned to always trust my heart, and to get out when something no longer serves you, or helps you grow. No matter how attractive you think they are, no matter how big of a crush you use to have on them, and no matter how settled they are, if you're not happy then walk away. I learned to never let a situation break you. If they don't look at you like you're the most beautiful girl in the world, or worse if they don't treat you like you are, then walk away. It can and it will damage you. I learned that I deserve better.
In turn, I learned how to truly find comfort in my own company. I started doing things that I loved again like painting and hiking. I went on many adventures with friends, and I healed old bonds between people. This year has helped me learn to become a better person.
Life is too short to waste it being a mean and hateful person. We all make mistakes, and we all deserve the chance to make them. Regardless of any situation that you go through, and regardless of what is happening in the world around you, hate and violence never solves anything. Everyone deserves love. Everyone.
I will be ending this year with my glass raised high in salute to the end of a good year, and the start of an even better one. So here's to a new year of many ups and downs to come. Here's to a new year of new possibilities and opportunities. Here's to a new year with a new president and a new hope for this country. Here's to a new year of striving to reach goals, and reaching goals you never thought you had. Here's to a new year, and a chance to live freely. Here's to a new year to be a better you. *Raises glass*