Lessons on starting over.


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Dear 2017,

It is with a bittersweet feeling, that I express my gratitude for your existence within these past 12 months.

You taught me so much, about myself, about others and about the endless lessons I still have to learn as I go through this miracle called life.

Not once this year, did you make me stop questioning myself, my peers, and the meaning of the world we inhabit. I learned so many things that I thought I already knew. I realize now how naively-shaped my perspective was. I had become so comfortable with the picture around me, that I remained blind to the frailty of it’s foundation. I also see now how limited my view was, not venturing too far beyond the line of conditioned influence.

You brought forward the things I struggle to speak of the most in this life. You showed me hate. You reintroduced anger. You redefined chaos. You showed me a new level of fear. You repeatedly presented loss. You held a gun to my head, a knife to my chest, and a noose around my throat, when Depression took the lives of those who felt like a piece of my family, and a part of my makeup. My fellow warriors. That was your cruelest reminder.

But you did something else to me this year, you made me awaken.

So in saying I express my gratitude for everything you put at my life’s center stage, I truly and honestly mean it. Thank you for showing me the hatred that still exists in this world, and the love that can conquer it. Thank you for bringing my anger to the surface, and for reminding me of my voice. Thank you for creating a new chaos, and helping to awaken others who have been asleep for so long, myself included. Thank you for giving fear a platform, and an amp, and for the deep courage it will take to continue the fight against it. Most of all, as hard as this is for me to say, thank you for the repeated lessons in loss. In return, you continue to offer me something I still struggle to grasp, and that is that life goes on. So thank you, for the discomfort and the sorrow, for the pain and the regret, because nothing would be worth continuing to be grateful for another chance at truly living, with both eyes wide open. Now.

As I look back over all of this, and begin to build a new perspective on how I will use my time in the coming New Year, I am also grateful for everything that has brought me to this moment. I haven’t felt more passionately about what my next move will be, or what I will accomplish in the coming months, to redefine the person I am and what I am meant to leave behind. I want to wipe everything clean and start anew. I want to tear down my walls, and feel everything more deeply. I want to fall in love with myself, before I fall in love with someone else. I want to be more kind to strangers, and practice compassion in all its forms. I want to be a warrior of my heart, and fight it’s battles with honesty and integrity. I want to get uncomfortable, get messy, and get vulnerable. I want to challenge myself. I want to break barriers, and smash conformity. I want to redefine roles, shake beliefs, and silence the ones who would aim to silence me.

So, in looking forward to 2018, I vow to put my words into actions and to do everything in my power to create the life that I’m proud of looking back on, not just for next year, but for the legacy I will leave behind. When the moment comes to end my time here, and continue from this life into the next, the only words I want to be saying are, “It was worth it.”

Happy New Year Everyone.

I wish you all the best. Be safe, be kind, and most of all, be the person you would want to look up to, in the end.