LATER, 2016

"I've learned a lot this year.. I learned that things don't always turn out the way you planned, or the way you think they should. And I've learned that there are things that go wrong that don't always get fixed or get put back together the way they were before. I've learned that some broken things stay broken, and I've learned that you can get through bad times and keep looking for better ones, as long as you have people who love you." - Jennifer Weiner

I think most of us are in agreement that 2016 was the absolute worst. . .
Allow me to rewind to the first of January when I wrote my first post of the year. I closed with this sentence, "Here's to 2016 and the many lessons ahead of me," and honestly when I said this I didn't really think this year would be as troubling as it was. There are several things I never expected to happen this year, such as, losing my father or struggling so much with all three of my children now being in school rather than at home with me. I'm a completely different person than who I was at the beginning of the year.

As I sat down to write this post, well I wasn't looking to be negative or even discuss all of the pain I went through this year. The truth is that I know we've all gone through our own share of pain in each of our lives. Instead I wanted to share what I found as I looked back at old photos.. As I reflected I saw how many different people I truly was this year. I saw how happy and care-free I once was in those early months. I found the ugly in the grieving daughter I was for awhile. I stumbled upon all the bits and pieces that show who I now am. . . And that's when I saw the beauty of 2016. How amazing it was that I allowed myself to be so many different people in order to be a better person right now.

I know that I'll probably be a whole new person at the end of 2017.
It's such a beautiful concept to be able to be so many versions of ourselves in order to finally find the person we've always meant to be though.. We're able to constantly grow as individuals, through all of our struggles, and allow them to hopefully make us better people than who we were in the past.

When I'm asked how my year went, all I can say is that I feel thankful.
I'm thankful for all the bad that happened because there was a lot of good that came along with it. I may have lost my father, but I found new relationships through all of that pain. Having no more children at home has allowed me to pursue new passions and dreams. We've grown as a family, remained healthy, and I couldn't be more proud of my children and who they're becoming as individuals.
We've been through a lot but we are stronger than we've ever been.. That's why I wrote that quote up top. I'm a firm believer in surrounding yourself around people who truly love/care for you in order to make it out of all those hardships stronger. I wouldn't have been able to get through any of my pain without my family.

I know this year has been rough for all of us.
So much pain and suffering around the world, too many deaths, and we're left with such an unknown future.. But I hope that when you look back at the year you've had, you're able to find your own beauty in 2016. Find that light that the darkness is trying to shut out. Cling to the great memories that you've made this year. Don't forget those struggles though, just find the lessons and use them to make you better.

So, here's to 2017 and all of the lessons ahead of me.
Here's to becoming five million different people that hopefully lead to the person I'm meant to be.


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