As the year comes to a close, I’ve naturally been reflecting on all my best (and worst) moments from the past year. I think for everyone, 2016 has been eventful, both in good and bad ways. It has been so many things: stressful, wonderful, warm, sad, full of loss and full of growth.
This year was the year we completed our family. On January 11th, our little Leo was born, slightly less than a year after I was told I wouldn’t be able to have any more children. He came into the world on a day I was so calm, so sure he wouldn’t show up for several more weeks. Yet hours after arriving at the hospital, he was in my arms. It was one of the best moments of my life.
Our first baby turned two. TWO. I swear I can blink and remember exactly how I felt when she was still inside of me–my very first blog post on this site. I remember when she turned one and wasn’t so much of a baby anymore. And this year she started preschool. She is both wonderful and challenging, the reason I laugh so much and the reason I learn so much on a daily basis. I can hardly process the fact that she’s turning three in less than two months. I can’t imagine loving her or her brother more. It’s truly like your heart walking around on the outside of your body.
This year Dom and I were married for five years. It’s what I consider to be our first true milestone. It hasn’t been without hard work, exhaustion, arguments and fuck-ups. It’s not perfect. But I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t full of so much good–laughter and happiness and the best kinds of tears. Growth. Learning more about both ourselves and each other. It’s not always easy but it’s always worth it.
I was accepted into yoga teacher training, which I start in January and have wanted to do since 2008. I’m paying for it myself through working almost full time while I’m at home with my kids. I feel proud.
I lost a friend or two. I’ve watched people I love deeply go through some of the worst moments of their lives. I learned a lot more about myself through moments I don’t care to recall. I was often scared, anxious, and sad thinking of all the hurt that surrounded me.
But if nothing else, I’ve grown. I know more about myself this year than I ever have before and like I’m truly getting comfortable in my own skin. This year has made me feel wiser, happier, more content. I finally feel like I’m coming out on the other side of those awkward years of your 20s so many have told me about. I make choices for myself and my family instead of worrying about what everyone else thinks. I’ve chosen to bring and keep only the people in my life who lift me up.
I just feel happy.
Next year will hold so many changes. Thinking of them provide me both with anxiety and happiness, stress and excitement. But for one of the first years in my memory, I’m following my heart. I’m practicing better impulse control and really planning for the future.
Even more, I’m following through with those plans. My babies will be three and one, and my relationship will reach just a year shy of a decade. Most days, my heart feels so full it could burst.
I have a lot of learning left to come. I have a lot of shit I’m dealing with and that I’ll continue to deal with. Many things I need to work on. But for the first time in a long time, I welcome it. I look forward to the lessons.
Even with all the bad in 2016, it’s given me that.
It’s a lot to be thankful for. So here’s an almost goodbye that’s both sad and grateful for an incredible 2016, and here’s a wonderful welcome to 2017. I can’t wait to see what you have in store.