2017 is a woman who lived on my couch

When I first met 2017, I was in a dark place. She arrived with her lies and her loaded promises and I was full of hope and anger. I wanted something better for myself than what 2016 had left in its wake. I wanted more and I wanted change and I was hungry for it from more than just me.

I went with her into the new year letting her fill the emptiness inside me with thoughts on what the future could be. I felt alone but with her, a new year by my side, I thought things would surely get better.

For months I clung to this hope that she plodded and tramped and shoved down my throat day after day. I shoved her hope in a backpack and I wore it every day until it became heavy, dragging me, weighing me down. The emptiness inside of me pooled and filled itself with anger until it overflowed into tears.

It took me months of blaming 2017, of blaming years past, of resurfacing old memories and of trying to process their effects, to come to terms with who 2017 was. She was not the bag of empty promises I blamed her to be. I had heard her say she’d fill the emptiness, but I did not listen to with what.

As many of us know, the only thing that truly matters is our perception, for the way we perceive the events in our lives and the lives around us is how we cope with and define our realities. I had defined this feeling within me as emptiness, a void, and I struggled to fill it with memories, emotions, and change that felt right.

As 2017 moved with me day by day by my side, I realized the emptiness we carried together was more than a void and I was doing a disservice to us both by calling it as such. The emptiness I felt with her, well, it was not an emptiness at all.

It was room.

Room for growth. Room for development. Room for new experiences and learning and most of all, acceptance.

Through my newfound perception, 2017 held my hand. When I cried, she was there. When I laughed, she laughed too. When I let go of my twenties, she helped me find my footing in a new decade of life. When my family wasn’t speaking, she listened to my thoughts. When my boyfriend proposed, she heard me say yes. When my passion for photography grew, she urged me to make it a business. When I doubted myself, she said you have time.

2017 is the first real year where I have felt grown up. I have paid my bills and lived on my own for quite some time, but the understandings I’ve had in my own head this year have shaped and changed the way I perceive the world around me and will continue to affect it for a very long time.

Right now 2017 is packing her bags with memories and realizations. She has left the hopes that she brought to stay, draping over my shoulders like a security blanket reminding me that things can continue to grow and change if I keep myself open to the perception that they can.

2018 will soon knock on the door and 2017 will go off into my memory. I don’t know what he’ll bring in his bag but I do know that I’m welcoming him in with champagne.