Goodbye 2016… you kinda sucked.
This year has been one crappy event after another. From Trump to terror attacks, I will not be sad to see 2016 end.
But in a year of one hit after another nationally, I have grown both professionally and personally.
In 2016, I stopped letting my fears dictate my life.
With all the stuff going on around me, I decided that I was going to start making sure I do all the things that make me happy because frankly, and I do hate to use the phrase, You Only Live Once and I was determined to make the most out of the time that I had.
Unfortunately, that started with a little bit of therapy.
In a small room with a comfy couch and a women scribbling away, I let go of all of the things that were holding me back.
And I cried… a lot.
But when those tears subsided, I got to work.
It was in January of 2016 that I decided to take my trip to Australia in spring of 2017. I have always wanted to do a semester abroad through my university but something always seemed to hold me back. I would tell myself that I had no time, no money, and though that was somewhat the case, I knew the truth.
I was scared.
That wasn’t going to stop me anymore. I was going to put my anxieties aside and take the plunge because I knew I would always regret it if I didn’t.
And I was done with regrets.
Fear is my biggest hurdle and I can’t say I jump them all the time, but now my wins out number my losses.
As I was Planning my australia trip, I was also traveling. Once to Canada for a not-so-spring-break holiday with my best friend and then an impromptu 2 day trip to Chicago where a lot went wrong but at least they had a Zara.
This year I also became the Feature Editor of the student newspaper on my college campus.
I have known since I turned the last page of my first novel read that I wanted to write, but I still had a lot to learn. Including one important lesson.
Saying that you’re a writer means that you have to write.
I had written academically but the thought of more than a few people reading what I wrote made the pen stop moving.
When I was offered the Feature Editor position I knew I was going to have to write for an audience, and be proud.
For me it was a rocky start. I felt like I was so unprepared, only having what I thought was good writing skills and no InDesign knowledge, but I knew that the other people around me in that newsroom had my back, even when I asked all of those stupid questions.
Now I can say that not only have I grown exponentially as a writer, I have gained life experiences that I would never have had if it was not for that position in all of its low and high points.
This year also marked the one year anniversary of when I came out as Bisexual to my family and what a difference a year can make.
There isn’t anything like having a family that loves and supports you, a job that you love, and two countries that make you hopeful.
2017 is only 13 days away, and I feel prepared, happy and so excited for what this next year will bring me, while also remembering that success can come with a rocky road and many breakdowns but that just makes the end result that much sweeter.
So 2017, bring it on.