Looking back and forward

Woah.

I don’t know where to begin with this wonderful, infuriating, beautiful, awful, strange, magnificent year.

This year was many things. It was not perfect, but it was the exact year I needed. Looking back, I am glad it happened. No amount of pep talks could have prepared me for everything to come, but it needed to be that way because life changed me for the better. I am not the same girl I was on New Year’s Eve of 2015.

I feel a little sad when I look back at my old journal entries from earlier this year; I lived a life I knew I should have loved. I had good friends, a job I liked well enough, and acceptance into the college of my dreams, but I felt empty. There I was going on car rides, eating pizza, listening to music, and doing all the most simple and wonderful things, yet I felt nothing. I was depressed. I wasn’t really myself, and I was utterly blind to it.

A lot happened between now and then; a lot of hard things and a lot of good things. I continued to have random bouts of depression, friendships broke or faded as I moved away, I had my heart broken, and there were multiple times I wondered what the hell I was doing with my life. Everything happened for a reason, though, and through the pain came beautiful things. Dreams of mine slipped into realities.

I went to concerts of bands and musicians that meant the world to me. I grew back together with my childhood best friend, and my roommate became the girl I could tell anything to in a way I never believed possible. I trusted people again. I rescued a few fellow college students late at night with a different roommate. I got up on a stage and sang a song I wrote in front of two hundred people. I planned a road trip for summer through Savannah, and Charleston, and Nashville with one of my closest friends. I became friends with people completely different from me, and we talked about life and faith and loved each other all the same. I gained confidence, and for the first time, I actually stopped caring about what people thought. I became myself; The emptiness went away.

2016 wasn’t perfect — but it was beautiful.

It’s been exactly three years to the day since I last blogged. I was silly, three years ago, when I thought I would quit blogging. I have a lot of words left, and I’m going to keep getting words. That’s why I’m here, on New Year’s Eve; I’m ready to write down these words in my head.

I don’t expect 2017 to be easy; life never is. I do expect it to be full of adventures, laughter, road trips, sunshine, football games, late night drives, ice cream, worn books, old and new friends, funny movies, and a thousand other beautiful reasons to take in each moment slowly and appreciate life.

This is the reason I’m blogging again. This is the reason I’m choosing to write now — because life is worth living, and I want to write it all down.

So with that, bring it on 2017 because hope is the anthem of my soul. As long as that’s true, I think I’ll be okay.

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