I have this thing about hard times: I often lump all aspects of my life together under their gray umbrella. I get so distracted by the challenges and emotions and unknowns that I seem to forget what really mattered in those times.

But today I’m shaking off my umbrella drenched in the rain of negativity and disappointment. And instead I RAISE MY GLASS to 2016: the year of incredible transitions and change! I am so thankful for the long awaited adventures that began to unfold as I finally took the plunge in changing careers. And I am thankful for the wild, new dreams of my future that are growing in the womb of change.

In the upheaval of 2–0–1–6 my greatest blessing has been My People. My devoted friends. My unfailing family.

I knew they valued and adored me, but I could never have expected their increasing patience and faithfulness through my year of storms. I used to think there was a cap on how long my friends would stick with me through difficulty. But I was wonderfully wrong. The steadfastness of my dear ones has given me new strength, perseverance, and confidence. No matter where I go, they are in my corner pushing me towards breakthrough.

Without them, there would be no story. And so, it is because of them that I am beginning this journey of sharing my story. If they had left, I might have given up and sunk into the quick sand of “normal life.” But now I have new places to go and things to discover because I have reached the light at the end of 2016’s long, dark tunnel.

I’m ready to look towards the horizon and watch the sun set on the old, and await a new sunrise.