Goodbye 2016: A Life Update

Like many people, 2016 was not a great year for me. It was a year filled with lots of struggles and stress, loss and some very hard lessons. Over the summer I lost my Grandfather, who I was fortunate enough to visit and spend some time with just before he passed, and just a few days before Christmas my Great-Aunt passed away as well. Without going into too many details, I spent a good part of the year feeling miserable and hurt, drowning in anxiety over some stressful situations I was dealing with, but it did help me learn some valuable lessons.

I dealt with some toxic relationships this past year, some that I worked hard at trying to salvage but in the end only made me miserable. Cutting people out of my life is not something I do lightly, and because I always try to see the best in people I sometimes give them way more chances than they really deserve. I'm proud to say that I was able to finally close the door on some mentally and emotionally destructive relationships and feel much better for it. 2016 really taught me to focus on the people who encourage and respect me, and to leave the negative ones to their own devices. I'm so blessed to have some hilarious, kind, supportive people in my life that have really helped me stay balanced. I'm hoping to give them a lot more of my time this upcoming year.

Fear has always been one of my biggest adversaries and it's something that holds me back more than I even realize. I recently made some big changes in my life, which normally would have scared the crap out of me, but they were necessary changes that I think will lead to me living a much happier and more fulfilled life. I learned how important it is to take a chance on yourself. To just give yourself the freedom to try without having your anxieties and self-consciousness ground you in place. This isn't really a battle I can win in one fell swoop. It's something I'm working on everyday. Believing in myself and giving myself the opportunity to fail rather than not trying at all. It's a bit terrifying, but I think with each push it'll become easier and easier, and I'll feel more like who I really am.

I feel like my blog really suffered this past year as a result of the stress I was dealing with in my everyday life. You would think the temptation of reading and escaping into stories would have been even greater but I was just too focused on my worries to really submerge myself. My motivation for writing blog posts in general was pretty low for most of the year. I would come up with all these ideas for new beauty posts but when it came to executing them it was as if there was a mental block. I stopped seeing the blog as an outlet, a release, and more as a chore that I felt guilty for neglecting. I think ultimately, my goal for this blog from here on out is to come up with a schedule that works for me and to just have fun with my writing. Not to take it so seriously that I stop enjoying the process. I want to put some sass back into it, some humor, and a good helping of made-up words – because it wouldn't really reflect me without them.

As much as I struggled in 2016, I know so many people who had an even rougher year than I did. I feel like at the end of it all, that just reminds me how blessed I truly am. To have such an amazingly supportive family (even if we can be crazy and loud) that I know always has my back. It's not always easy to talk about what's bothering you or what you're feeling, but having people to whom I know I can speak my truth and who are always my biggest cheerleaders is such an amazing feeling. In times when I've doubted myself or the fear got to be too much, they've always been there and I'm eternally grateful for their love.

For 2017, I haven't exactly made “resolutions” per se, but just some reminders that I want to live by. I want to push myself to tackle things that might seem a bit out of my reach. To give myself a shove when I feel myself falling into old habits and procrastinating. To do more of the things I love and give more time to the wonderful people in my life. I want to put my energy into things that will result in positivity – either for myself or for others. I want to put my energy into making good things happen rather than wasting time and energy dwelling on the negatives.

Things aren't always going to be great. 2017 is going to be a year just like any other, with highs and lows. But I want to make sure that when a low comes my way, I remember that I'm still blessed. That by working towards a positive outcome and putting my full energy and passion towards it, a high will be just around the corner.

I know many people feel like the beginning of a new year is the start of a new chapter, a fresh beginning full of possibilities. For me, those words couldn't be truer. I said many goodbyes in 2016 – some to loved ones I wish I could have held onto longer and some to situations that needed to change. But I feel like all that pain and hurt was worth it in the end. It's made me more sure of my own worth and more inspired to show the world and myself how much ass I can really kick when I set my mind to it. So, it's not so much “New Year, New You” as “New Year, You Were Always Awesome To Begin With – Now Work, B*tch.”

So thank you, 2016 for being such an asshole. You knocked me down so that I could get back up stronger. 2017, we're rooting for you.  

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