Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016: A Year In Review

I don't even know where to begin when trying to recap this year. So I'll start with what I said on Facebook and Instagram, and maybe that will inspire me.

"2016 was nothing like I thought it would be. It was harder than I expected, more exhausting than I expected, had more tears than I hoped it would, and broke my heart more times than I knew was possible. But you know what? It also brought the start of a new chapter, built new relationships, helped me restore and strengthen some of the ones that matter most, gave me memories I wouldn't ever give back, taught me more about who I am and the person I want to be to others, and showed me how to love harder each and every day. So no, 2016 hasn't been my favorite year, but it's brought lessons and experiences that are part of the greater picture of my life. I learned a while ago that I want God to write my story, so here's to seeing what He has in store for 2017."

And really, 2016 was not a very good year for me. But it wasn't all bad. Even though my seizures were a mess, I still got my freaking Master's degree, with Honors, and it was a semester by semester struggle to pay for it and get through it. Even though I lost two of my best friends, I restored one of those broken friendships, made new friends, and strengthen old relationships. Even though I had to leave NYC and wasn't happy about it, it turned out to be a good thing I could be here to take care of Mom, I got to see some of my soccer boys play, and I've gotten to spend more time with Matt. I guess age is providing me with some perspective. Go figure.

I know I've had much harder years than this (hello, brain surgeries), but for some reason, I've felt much more tired than I have in recent memory. That's why I've stopped blogging with any regularity. It's like I'm so tired I've not only run out of things to say, I just don't have the motivation or concern to even try to say anything. The stress from so many different things and so many new things on top of the things that already stressed me out in previous years just wore me down to the point of utter exhaustion.  Here's hoping I find some rejuvenation in this new year. If I get into a PhD program, I'm certainly going to need it.

That's why I pretty much failed at the mission I put my behind my "One Word": enough. In short, the mission was two-fold in that I wanted to boost my self-confidence and grow closer to God. The first part was more successful than the second. I went on my first real dates and finally had some new experiences with guys. I figured out that maybe my friends maybe do have a clue what they're talking about when they constantly say that a guy can actually find me beautiful. But I think those things, combined with the previously mentioned exhaustion, stood in the way of me growing close to God like I wanted to and placing my self-esteem in what God says about me rather than my relationship status or attention from guys. I want to be different. That's why one of the goals I am focusing on in 2017 is to teach myself the discipline of daily Bible reading. I don't do that like I should, despite the fact that in my gut I know that it's the only way to truly deepen my relationship with the Lord. I want that. I need that. I believe the self-confidence will naturally come with that. There are some other goals that I'll talk about in my 2017 One Word post, but this is the main one.

Ha, I just at my 2015 Year In Review post and realized that I started that by saying 2015 was nothing like I expected, either. That seems to be the overwhelming theme of my life, especially since I graduated high school. For all the ways I dream of my life going and expect it to go, God usually goes in an extremely different direction. And more often than not, I don't like it at the time, but looking back, I can see why it was a good thing and the right thing, and I'm reminded that everything really is so much better when I don't fight God being in control of my life. Let's see if I can remember that should I be rejected from all of these new PhD programs.

I don't have a clue what this next year is going to hold, just like most of the events of this year took me by surprise. And year after year, I find myself becoming more and more okay with that.

I got to see Matt tonight (and on Christmas Eve, which is when this picture is from), so considering the only other things happening today were errands, a basketball game, and a football game, that was a pretty awesome ending to 2016 for. Check out my Instagram if you want to see a collage I posted, complete with a cheesy caption, about the two of us.

Happy New Year, friends. May peace, love, and joy cover you and yours no matter what this new chapter brings. I love you.

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