I’ve seen a lot of excitement that 2016 is nearing an end.
I’ll admit, I’ve been amongst those people and I’ve been guilty of posting a meme or two praying that the universe doesn’t drop a 2016-S right when we think 2016 is finally over.
But I got to thinking a lot about this year, and how, although it has brought a lot of heartache, confusion, and pain, it also brought so much growth, happiness, and hope. For every bit of darkness I was handed, I was given the opportunity to meet the universe with a handful of my own light.
It was exhausting, sure, but without the darkness, light wouldn’t even exist.
I’ve always tried to remind myself that it takes two valleys to make a peak, and even if it felt like 2016 was filled with much deeper valleys than it was high peaks, we really wouldn’t know one from the other if they both didn’t exist. I’ve learned to not waste time wishing away the heartache or deep dark trenches of the valleys, and, instead, explore the mess and find out what it has teach me.
This year I was handed some pretty unfair cards and I spent a good amount of time feeling angry and bitter toward the cards I’d been dealt.
But, I’m learning day by day that if it weren’t for those cards, I wouldn’t be getting the second chance that I feel almost undeserving of today. If I hadn’t failed in one aspect of my life, I wouldn’t be given this chance to try again and succeed, love, and live even better the next time around.
I know that life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, and this isn’t a preachy post about why you shouldn’t feel sad on your sad days or mad on the days where anger envelops you in a whole new shade of red. Believe me, I’ve felt shades of red that I didn’t know existed. This is simply a reminder (to myself and all of you) that every heartbreak gives us new cracks for more love to seep in. Every failure gives us a new chance to try again and succeed in ways we never thought possible. Every dead-end road gives us the chance to problem solve ways to climb over or under or through the mountain that is standing in our way. I wouldn’t wish away any part of 2016, even if I was given the chance. It brings tears to my eyes as my fingers type that realization. Had you asked me just a few months ago, I would have given anything to move backward or forward or literally ANYWHERE to get away from the broken rubble and find some solid ground.
But I am who I am today because I made the choice to live every single day I’ve been given with the lessons from yesterday, the grace in today, and the hope that we might get to try again tomorrow if today doesn’t turn out the way it was planned.
There is so much beauty in that. You are who you are thanks to the combination of messy, imperfect, wonderful days that served as stepping stones to get you to the ground you’re (hopefully dancing) on today.
As another year comes to a close, I hope you’ll see it as an accomplishment, an important chapter, and, ultimately, a gift.
We have less than 11 days left in 2016 and I hope you’ll join me in making every day count.