I think last year I claimed 2015 was both the best and hardest year of my life.
I’m pretty sure 2016 has that topped, but I think we all can apply that summation to our previous years if we try hard enough.
I’ve heard many people throwing around blanket judgements like “2016 was the worst year ever,” or “2016 SUCKED!” I’m not a fan of lumping a year under one giant negative, what I will agree was the 2016 was a hard year. It pushed me to what I thought was my breaking point, it tested everything I knew and at times made me feel worthless. But toward the end, the pressure pushed me into the beginning of great new things. Things that I am sure are going to shape 2017 into a fantastic year to come.
2016 began with a lot of snow falling on our sweet home music city. The city was silenced, blanketed in the most beautiful white powder I’d seen in years. Snow gives me hope, it seems to renew the earth and makes things glow in away they haven’t been able to in a while. It also brought a flat tire and plenty of DIY projects.
I grew closer to a friend I had made in 2015, drifted apart from another and watched in awe as my nanny “smush baby” grew in front of my eyes.
Come March I signed up for a sort of pop up shop at my school simply because the thought of doing so terrified me. Vulnerability is hard y’all. I saw showcasing my tiny shop and all it’s coffee sleeves to be a terrifying endeavor, and so that’s exactly why I did it. Makes sense, right?
I was put out of my comfort zone again when I was invited by a friend to attend Nashville Fashion Week. Dressed in a shield of all black we spent the evening enjoying the drinks, whispering about the night’s fashions and ending it with giggles as her husband drove us home. All of that putting myself “out” into the world made me feel so alive.
I picked up tennis and spent endless week at a friends house. Kind of like a perpetual sleepover, which is so much more fun in your 20’s versus in your teens.
It all sounds like a good year so far, right?
Underneath the surface things, feelings, words that had been repressed into neat boxes began to bubble up amongst the cheery spring flowers. I knew deep inside things were ending. I would not be financially able to attend school the next semester and also was suddenly awestruck as to what I wanted to do. Nursing was no longer where my heart was.
One of my parents made a sudden decision that affected my brother and I greatly, and I spent an afternoon in utter pain, sobbing into my best friend’s lap. So even in the midst of crisis I should have known how sheltered and loved, but of course I wouldn’t see these truths until the fog had subsided.
My job began to change in its hourly timeframe and I found myself worrying about cashflow once again. I was in an apartment far too nice for my own good, and those expenses coupled with feeling unstable in work made finding confidence to live life fully tricky.
Lastly, my housing situation began to unravel at its seams. I felt disrespected and like many shared responsibilities were falling solely on my shoulders, which was hard to bare given the other things going on.
Things all came to a head at the end of the summer. My even tempered mother had just visited and seen all I had been dealing with. She affirmed the feelings I had about my living situation and felt the fear and disrespect herself. My mother is never one to speak ill of people and so having her voice her concerns made me realize just how deep I was in. I had to understand that things weren’t going to change unless I did.
Like most things, I was going to trickle change into my life. Slowly, carefully and controlled at all times. Life had an entirely different plan.
My job wasn’t changing and I had to suddenly look elsewhere.
My roommate moved out without notice and so I suddenly had to find new housing.
In those moments, I felt worthless.
Who was I if people could walk all over me and do things I thought were unfathomable to any upstanding, respectful person?
So instead of a trickle, my change came racing down like a flood.
In times when I thought about giving up, I found solace.
In a new place to live.
In a new job.
Suddenly, all of these things that had made me feel worthless to my very core values were the very things that were forcing me to realize my true worth.
I ended up loving my new apartment and roommate.
I love my new job more than words can describe.
It wasn’t as though I hated the things that happened in 2016. I hated instead the way things began to end. Hated the feeling of waking up to movers in my apartment. Hated trying to live in a city working 15 hours a week. Hated feeling so out of control and devalued.
But it was these things I hated that shined out the rough beginning of 2016.
They revealed the true gem underneath and brought me some of the best things I could have imagined.
So 2016 was hard.
But it was also the year that made me realize just how worthy I can be.
Let’s put this to use 2017.
(In typical fashion pictures of year to follow)