I tried to find sufficient words to describe the whirlwind that was the last 365 days. 2016 was a year of lessons, more lessons than my 17 years and counting of education have provided. 2016 was a year of loss, loss of my own loved ones, loss of loved ones for people very close to me. 2016 was a year of grief. A year of grief for family close to me, friends close to me, and those around me. 2016 was a year of challenges, obstacles, tribulations and trials. But 2016 was also a year of light, kindness, love and celebration. It was a year of tragedy, but it was also a year of rebirth. 2016 taught me more about myself, those around me, the world and the beautiful life I was given, than I could ever fathom knowing. 2016 was a balance of the worst and the best year. This past year was a thrilling novel mixed with every possible genre, but ending in the happiest of endings.
I avoid thinking about the life that was mine just one year ago, as much as possible. I avoid imaging the pain and fear my family was feeling, at all costs. Avoiding the darkness that covered our lives last New Years is quite easy when 2016 brought the most miraculous of miracles. We as individuals will never know what tomorrow holds, so the only think we can do is hope. We can hope for a brighter tomorrow, pray for good health, and have faith. Have faith in the beauty of light, have faith in the end of the darkness and understand how fragile life is. Once we start grasping that, I can assure you that life becomes more enjoyable.
I never really believed in New Year’s resolutions. I did not find it necessary to make a better tomorrow based on a specific day of the year. I believe in bettering myself and creating a better future each and every day. However; tonight, as 2017 rolls in, I have developed some new approaches to life and new outlooks on the world around me.
This new year I am going to:
Love harder. As I said, 2016 taught me how fragile life can be. When the clock strikes midnight tonight, I’m making it my vow to love extra hard this new year. I’ll hold my loved ones tighter, love strangers, love enemies and love my friends more than ever before. Tomorrow is not promised- but the only thing that is,is love. Come 2017, I vow to not hold grudges, to always forgive, to always be honest and to most importantly, love, love, love. Love others, love myself and love life.
Live more. This new year I’m going to take more risks than ever before. I’m going to do the things I thought I once was unable to do. I’m going to conquer every fear, from the smallest to the largest. This past year has forced me to overcome the greatest obstacles and challenges in my life thus far. I often find myself hoping that I am never faced with such fear and uncertainty ever again. But I know that if ever I was, I could most definitely handle it due to the strength I gained through the last 12 months. I learned how important it is to enjoy every absolute second of every day. How important it is to make the most of every given second and how important it is to have fun. I vow to live the life I want. To do only things that make me happy and to always cherish the gift of a new day.
Enjoy today. I often find myself planning too far ahead. Mapping out the next week in entirety, planning the next semester, looking forward to what’s to come in the next month. Especially during the busiest of times, it is all too easy to get caught up in what needs to be done, what should be done or what could have been done. This new year I vow to enjoy each and every day and worry a little less about the future. If I’ve learned anything, it is that the future is the most uncertain thing the world has ever known. Life can change in the blink of an eye so why waste time planning so far ahead? Life is better than the stress and worry that comes along with that. So much of life can be lived by embracing the moment, the present, the today. I vow not to miss that anymore.
Looking back, the years always seem to blend into one another as the months soar by. But once you really look into all that occurs during the course of the year, you discover just how much truly happens during those 365 days. A year can be filled with so much heartbreak, sadness, tragedy and despair. It can be filled with celebrations, joyful moments, love and laughter. A year is a lot of time to waste being unhappy. Embrace today, love your loved ones, and most importantly live. Life is all about how we look at it, so this year I’ve decided to look on the bright side- and trust me, there is always one.