If I could only pick one thing that I truly learned from this past year, it would be how I was finally able to be myself for once in my life.
For as long as I can remember, even back in elementary school, all I ever did was try to please others around me. Besides wanting to make the people around me happy, all I wanted was to fit in with people who I thought were good for me. Then as I became an adult - I spent the first half of my twenties completely broken because I hated who I had become. I felt like I wasted my life on people who were no longer even in my life. I felt like I could never escape the pain from my past mistakes. I felt lost. I allowed all of this to define who I was as a person, and to be honest it wasn't a good person.
It was like a light switch went off as soon as I turned 25 last year.
Honestly, I was just tired of being who I was and hating myself had become exhausting.
It was time for me to stop allowing my past and those mistakes to define me.
The journey to the person I am now and who I was a year ago was far from easy. It took a lot of time and a lot of forgiveness all on my part. I had no idea how to forgive myself. All I knew was that I couldn't keep living as that kind of person - the one ashamed to step outside, the one who was always angry, and the one who was anything but herself.
I finally realized that all the mistakes that I had made in my past weren't who I was as a person.
I've talked about this a lot on Simply Nicollette, but as I said this is the most important lesson I learned this past year and I'm very thankful for it. I don't know how much longer I could've led that type of life for myself or for my family.
As I reintroduced myself to well.. myself, I also introduced the true me to the world.
I really like me.
I love the feeling of finally being able to be who I am and not be afraid of being that person.
I have scars, I'm a little crazy, my anxiety makes me incredibly shy, plus many more flaws - but I'm finally happy with all of them. I've lost people in my life, but this past year I also gained stronger friendships and relationships. I'd rather have real best friends and a strong family than be surrounded by people who don't love me for who I truly am. Who wouldn't? It's incredibly freeing.
Being who you truly are can be a bit scary. I was scared to be alone - that no one would accept me.. but I hope you see from my story that that is far from the truth. The people who actually see you will love you and still be there, and the ones who never saw you at all don't matter anyways.
It's okay to be who we really are.
It's okay to stop letting those mistakes define us as a person.
It's okay to move on and let go of the pain, the grudges, and forgive ourselves.
It's okay to learn how to live a better life, no matter how old we are or what we've been through.
What's in our hearts is the true thing that matters.
So, thank you 2015 for the fantastic year with a family who loves me and friends who care about me. Thank you for allowing me to find myself again, and letting that good person become a better mother, girlfriend, friend, and family member.
Here's to 2016 and the many lessons ahead of me.