December 30, 2016

Thank You 2016

I talked in my very first blog post ever about how some years throw everything they can at you and then some. They are every bit as challenging and trying, as they are enlightening and full of life. They are often years that provide the biggest personal growth and they are full of learning. Although it may not seem like it, they are just as beautiful as any other year, you just might have to look a little harder to find that beauty.

2016 you were just that.

I think the biggest thing I learned this past year was that life just keeps on going. You aren't meant to stay in one place forever, as much as you would maybe like to. And this doesn't just mean literally being physically in one place forever, but even just a single situation, role, or relationship. Things end and this is okay - they teach you what they need to teach you, provide you with exactly what you need, and then they end. On to the next thing. Twenty sixteen provided me with many endings, but we must not forget that endings are often synonymous with beginnings. More often than not new wonderful, beautiful things cannot begin without something else coming to a close.

What's important is to not mourn what we have lost, but to instead recognize what they have left us with - a bigger heart, memories to light up the darkest of days, new friendships, and a deeper understanding of this world we live in. The list of things we gain from those things that evade us goes on and on, and is deeply personal, but this is what is important. This is what matters.

I may no longer be a student, but I have finally reached the culmination of many years in school. The conclusion of that role has opened up the door to the beginning of a career as a nurse. It is my hopes that I will touch the lives of at least some of the people I encounter throughout the course of my career, and even if not, I am so lucky to even have the opportunity to do so.

I may have graduated from college in twenty fifteen, but twenty sixteen most certainly did a good job of solidifying the fact that there is no going back to those oh so wonderful years. That is a time in my life that is gone forever, but the closing of that chapter represents a whole life ahead of me that I get to live. The beautiful thing is, all the friendships I made in those years get to come with me on my journey through life. The people we have by our side throughout life make us lucky, and I will forever be thankful that those four years brought us together.

I may have have lost a love and best friend, but I now know what it feels like to love with my entire heart, and for that I am blessed. The ending of relationships are often painful, but if you look beyond the hurt, I promise you will learn something and walk away better than you were before. I was left with irreplaceable memories and the knowledge of what it means to love. I will search far and wide for a love like that again, and I will refuse to settle for anything less.

All of those things may have ended, but they have provided me with both wonderful memories, invaluable lessons, and most certainly a strong foundation to begin not only a new year on but also the rest of my life. I couldn't have timed the culmination of all of those endings better if I had tried. Twenty sixteen may have closed a lot of doors, but twenty seventeen's door is wide open, bright, and welcoming. The ending of this year is providing me with a completely clean slate, and I cannot wait to see what is waiting for me in the coming year. Having no restraints, nothing and no one holding me back, is a really beautiful thing. I can go wherever I want, do whatever I please, and become exactly who I'm meant to be. What could be better than that. And to think that it is in large part because things ended. I'm telling you endings are really just beginnings. Embrace them, let them teach you, and move forward with excitement for what's next.

I'm not sure what it is - whether it's the fact that seventeen has forever been a lucky number of mine, or because it feels like a complete and much needed fresh start - but I have a really strong feeling that twenty seventeen is going to be a really good year.

It doesn't feel right to say goodbye to a year without taking a moment to say thank you to all it has provided you with. So to twenty sixteen I say thank you. Thank you for letting me begin a career that will allow me to go and make a difference in people's lives. Thank you for so many new and beautiful friendships. Thank you for teaching me so much about what it means to love. Thank you for allowing me to create something I am so very passionate about and for allowing me to explore a side of myself, that for a long time I didn't know existed. Thank you so very much for the opportunity to see and explore the world, and for adventures and memories to last a lifetime. I am eternally grateful. Merci, grazie, danke, gracias. Last but not least, thank you for all the endings, that come to find out, are really just beginnings. Twenty sixteen, you weren't all that bad after all. Thank you.

xo. G

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