A Reflection of 2016

Let me be the first to tell you that 2016 was the year a lot of legendary stars passed away-from Carrie Fisher, Prince, David Bowie and George Michael. It was a year full of tragedy, and change in the world, a year that we learned the importance of coming together, rather than coming apart.

My best friend Gabu and I at my college graduation.

Personally, 2016 was a strange year, one that was full of personal growth, and victories. One of those victories was my college graduation a few weeks ago. While I was not on the traditional four year plan, there is no better feeling than completing my Bachelor’s Degree with a 3.32 GPA. College is not easy, and not everyone can do it. I was not on Dean’s List all of the time, however, being able to say that I graduated and worked hard for the degree, makes it worth all of the stress and hard work. Well, almost (kidding).

However, my graduation is not the only thing that I am celebrating. This year I dealt with anxiety, as a result of having too much on my plate, between work and school. At the beginning of 2016, I was stressed out, and frustrated as to why nothing would change in my life. This year, I realized that to truly become happy, I was going to have to change things in my life. I also realized that I was going to have to change myself and the way that I looked at things, whether it may be dating, school, and life in general. I learned when enough was enough in work. I learned to look at positive things in the most negative of situations.

As I approach 2017, I am content and happy with my life and have so much to look forward to. The changes that bought me to this point were a direct result of therapy sessions, and reading several different self help books. I also was lucky to have the support of a community compromised of friends, family, employers, professors and countless others who just wanted me to do well, something that I am grateful for.

A shot of some friends that came to support me, along with some members of the Luther House community.

As I overcame my anxiety later on in the year, I was given the opportunity to speak at Luther House to share my story. The outpour that I got, whether it may be from fellow members of the community, friends, old teachers and even strangers was beyond overwhelming. It was a great thing to do, and I am so happy to be able to inspire those dealing with the same symptoms I did.

While sharing my experiences was not easy, I am glad that I did it, because so many readers/audience members felt that they can truly relate. And for me, that was honestly the best part about it.

Dealing with the effects of anxiety suck, whether it may be the panic attacks or the feelings of uncertainty. It is safe to say my anxiety was the central theme of the year. But, that is not going to be the theme of 2017. I have decided that 2017 is going to be my year, although I am uncertain of what it will bring. And, that’s perfectly alright.

So, 2016, you were pretty great. Thank you for the challenges that I overcame. Thank you for the memories that were made. But, let’s take a moment to celebrate 2017. Here’s to a new year, one full of new opportunities and new adventures. Of course, everyone says that on Dec. 31, but this year I believe it.

Happy New Year everyone.

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