2017 has been one hell of a year.
I’ve reflected on the past twelve months and have struggled to find the words to retell them. In the most downplaying of descriptions, it’s been a rollercoaster. At points, I had no idea where I was going, how I was going to get there, or whether I was going to make it to the end. This year has been testing, in a way unlike any before it.
I was talking to my brother a few days ago, and he said, “If 2017 has shown us something, it’s that we can get through anything.” By we, he meant our family. We’ve taken some hard hits this year, but when I faced something bigger than my own ability, they came alongside to strengthen, protect and lift me up. They dragged me through when I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other, and delivered me to the starting line of my road to recovery. Once they’d carried me to the place I needed to be, they still didn’t rest. Instead, they cheered me on from the sidelines with each step, though sometimes (often) the steps I took were backwards. They were patient. Then, when I could walk on my own again, they put trust in me. They let me wander; they let me stumble; they let me run. When I fell, they picked me up if I reached out, but they put faith in me that I could pick myself up too. My family had hope in me, and now I have hope in me.
2017 has been the hardest year of my life. But I’m ending it happy – happier than I ever have been in memory. I’m me. I didn’t know who me was before, and I’m still learning. But I’m letting myself learn, giving myself the opportunities to find out who me is. I’m doing things that make me happy. I’m stepping out of my comfort zone. I’m pushing to be honest with myself. I’m finding my quiet confidence.
Today, there are so many good things in my life, and I’m grateful. My job makes me want to get up in the morning; my family are solid and feel closer than ever; there are people who brighten my days without knowing it, and I’m looking forward to things – nonspecific things that I know are in my uncertain, unpredictable, untold future.
While there were times where it felt like all of the lights had been turned out, there were also some beautiful, precious, funny times that shone the brightest rays. I’m stealing the good things from 2017 to carry with me into 2018, and to wake up on 1st January excited, hopeful.
I don’t think my life will be filled with nothing but sunshine and rainbows from now on. It isn’t, and it won’t be. The bad days still come, but they go again, and I know I can face them (with a small army carrying hugs, music and food as weapons).
It’s the end of 2017. I’ve arrived, ready to kiss this year goodbye and say hello my new year.