2017 has been a good year.
Yes, I have experienced burnout from over exertion, and yes there have been tears along the way. There have been moments of frustration, of exhaustion, of stress and days when I just wanted them to tick over to the next. But there have also been tears of joy. Of laughing so much my stomach hurts. Of feeling such gratitude at life my heart could burst.
2017 has bought some wonderful memories and treasured experiences. My word of the year was courage, and courage fuelled my life this year. I embraced adventure and exploration, and came out at the end of things with more of an understanding of myself, and a deeper connection to who I am, and what I want.
I embraced saying no, and I also embraced saying yes. I walked through countless beautiful forests and painted till my fingers cramped. I spent time alone - a lot of time alone - and time with others.
I let go of friendships that didn’t serve me, and I let go of caring too much what people thought of me. I let go of swallowing my words.
And with embracing what I needed to, and letting go of what I didn’t, I started to find clarity in this crazy world we live in. I am ending this year knowing that I don’t have all the answers, but then, I’m also quite sure that no one ever really does. What I do have is a fire in my heart. A guidance from it, that I’m on the right path. An excitement for what the next year will bring. The stories I will experience, and tell, and listen to.
From this year, I will take with me my gratitude. I am grateful the connections I have made. For late night talks under the covers, on the sofa, on the phone, on the internet. The people in my life, in person and far away. I am grateful for having them, and sharing myself with them. And for them sharing with me. Listening and sharing and connecting and loving. That will be what I remember from 2017.
As with any year, you do not end with a picture perfect overview. But this year, I choose to remember what made me smile, not what made me cry.
And so many things made me smile this year. Celebrating with friends. Feeling the sea lap over my toes, the sun on my face. Walking in nature, gazing at art. Listening to music, dancing in fields, cuddling and kissing and being silly and learning new things and exploring new things.
I will smile as this year closes, and the beautiful unknown chapter of 2018 begins…