As 2017 is coming to a close, I wanted to express my immense gratitude for all the blessings this year has brought me. This year, I was hospitalized four times. I went from being a high achieving student to one who barely attends school. I lost several of my closest friends, and I have felt more alone than I ever thought imaginable. But it was in that loneliness that I found myself. I grew comfortable being in my own company. I learned not only how to use my voice to benefit the greater good but also when to keep quiet. Sometimes, we assume that the only way to deliver our message is to scream it for all to hear. What few realize is that this assumption comes from a place of insecurity. The truly confident person does not raise their voice; they speak from their heart, and messages from the heart are always gentle.
This year, I have been broken, and I have healed. I have met new people, and while some of them may no longer be in my life, they will always be in my heart. I can say with all of my being that the memories I have shared with those people will never escape me, for you do not simply forget the experiences that shaped you into the person you presently are. I have awoken the divine light within me, and I have shared it with all beings, near and far. I have left my nightmares in the past and manifested my dreams. I wrote a novel and a children’s book. I applied to college only to withdraw my application. I changed my entire plan for the future, and I know that it will likely continue to change. I doubted my decision, but all of my worries slipped away the minute I realized that I was exactly where I needed to be in that given moment.
This year, I have traveled to foreign places. I have gotten lost—physically, mentally, and spiritually. I have acquired new skills and viewpoints that contradict ones I formerly held. I have let go of toxicity and attracted positivity and—dare I say it—peace. I was put on a medication that worsened my depression and then another to repair the damage done by the first. I got off my medication and found stability in the midst of chaos. I adopted a treatment plan that works for me, and although the pieces of my life have not magically fallen into place, I am happy. I am happy with the person I have become, with where I am and where I have been.
Thank you, 2017, for giving me a run for my money. If you had not pushed me to my breaking point, I never would have become aware of my inner strength. It is because of the trials you presented me with that I know my worth and no longer tolerate people who do not respect my boundaries. So, here is my promise to you: I will carry your lessons with me into 2018. I will not let anyone push me around and shove me aside. Just you wait and see. Watch me transform my pain into beauty and weather every storm that dares to rattle me.