(image credit: Pixabay)
"New things can only grow where you give them room to bloom." - Mandy Hale
With only a few weeks left of this year, I am forced to take stock in where I am now and where I have been. This year has been a whirlwind, and when I think about it all at once, it's amazing to think how much actually happened in one year's time.
I published a book and received oustanding love and support from a community that has always been my home. I lost people and a dog that I loved, but rekindled old friendships. I closed my business, but made lasting professional relationships that turned into great friends. I've learned from failures and am better because of it. I moved back home temporarily and have been reminded how important family truly is. I've built bonds with family members that I didn't know I could get closer to. I've realized who my true friends are and that it's okay to walk away from people who don't treat you right. I've learned that being vulnerable doesn't make you weak and anyone that takes advantage of your vulnerabilities doesn't deserve your love or your time. I've found a strength and resolve in myself that I didn't know I had. I've faced betrayal and hurt and have learned to respond with kindness. I have learned to forgive, but not forget. I have learned how to make myself happy first, while still giving to others.
Most people would look at the events in my life and think it has been a bad year for me. I disagree. It has been one of the most challenging years of my life in a lot of ways, but I wouldn't change it for anything. I like where I am right now and the direction I am heading. I like the person I am and who I am becoming.
Yes, there were days where I felt despair. There were days where I had to be in the moment and experience sadness and loss. I had to convince myself to get out of bed and take on the day because I wasn't sure I could. I got stuck in grief and feeling sorry for myself. I was lost in memories of what used to be instead of accepting what is. But then tomorrow came. And the next day, and the day after that. I kept getting up and facing the days. I realized that tomorrow keeps coming and that I am wasting precious moments that I'll never get back.
I began to focus on myself -- what I need to change, what I need to accept and let go of, and who I want to be. I work toward that every day. I never let go of it. I am continually heading in a better direction. I've learned so many things about myself and what I am capable of. I've discovered new dreams and refuse to be distracted from them. I've found my smile again. I laugh more now -- the kind of laugh that you never want to end. I enjoy things -- moments, people, interactions -- in a way I haven't been able to before.
I am happy. It's funny because only a few short months ago I wasn't sure I'd ever be happy again. I didn't see the big picture at the time. I couldn't see that better things were in store for me. I've stopped sitting back and waiting for things to change in my life. I'm taking action and making things better myself.
I am strong. I never realized how much so. The things that I thought would kill me didn't. The things and people I didn't think I could live without are gone, but I'm still thriving. I have risen above. I have overcome. And I am better off for it.
This year has been full of change. I've always been afraid of change, but I've been forced to face my fears. I realize that change is what I needed even though it wasn't what I wanted. And there is more change on the horizon, only now it brings excitement instead of panic. I'm open and ready for it. This time I'm prepared.
I'm giving the things in my life that deserve my time, love and energy room to grow. And in time, they will bloom and it will be an amazing site to see. Just you wait.