This year has been the best year of my life, thus far.
I don’t know exactly what has changed, or if I’m feeling this way because of the memories I’ve made and things I’ve done, or if it’s just a mindset thing.
This year has just been… different. I’ve had a sense of real confidence that I haven’t always had, I’ve had an incredible support system, and I’ve started to do a little bit of traveling- something I’ve always dreamt of but seemed a little bit passed my comfort zone, I’ve always had such a huge sense of adventure but felt like I had nowhere to go.
I’m finally doing it. Saying yes, asking for help when I need it, doing what I love because I love it. I feel like I’m finally me.
This year I went on my first cruise! Woohoo! Turns out I’m not a huge cruise person- story for another time- but, this was just the beginning of this crazy, but amazing, year. I took many trips to Miami throughout this year, each time I felt a little more at home. I tried new foods, I wore fun clothes, I let myself do things without questioning the possible outcomes. I did things because I wanted to. I went to a music festival in Las Vegas- incredible. I’m currently prepping for a trip to New York- during Christmas time!!! I was fired from my shitty job this year! I started working at a new job, with the most amazing mentor I could have ever asked for, and I got to teach and learn from tiny human brains. I quit that job though- long, painful story, and then… I started my business. And that took off more than I ever expected. I turned 21 this year! I fell in love this year. I learned a lot this year. And as a senior, I’ve done the best in school that I’ve ever done in my college career, this year.
With all of the big memories I've made, it's the little memories of this year are what really mean the most. Like, living with my best friends, sharing cookies and a movie in the living room. Or being being goofy and silly with my mom after not being home for weeks. I've laughed harder this year than I probably ever have. It’s the little memories that hide inside the big ones that make my heart glow and make living feel so warm and easy.
That’s not even the half of it- but my point is that I have said yes to every possibility and opportunity that life has given me this year. Yes, yes. Yes!
But maybe this all feels so grand because I’m finally out of hiding. I’m finally past being scared of life.
You see, I spent the majority of the year before this just waiting around for something bad to happen. I lived my life in fear. There were days where I couldn’t get out of bed because I knew for a fact (or so it seemed) that it was going to be my last day on earth- I never knew why exactly or what specifically I was scared of, but I knew it was bad. I had been through some of the worst things of my entire life that year and my brain fully convinced me that those events were leading up to the worst one yet. It was a horrible way to live. I pushed everyone away. I can’t even full explain it. And I don’t want to. I forget about that time of my life, it was just so not me. I wasn’t me and I didn’t know who I was. I was scared, that’s all.
It’s a hard year for me to talk about, as a matter of fact I don’t talk about it with anyone- yet here I am sharing a piece of it with you. I’ve always been so full of life and love and it was hard to see myself as a dark shell of myself.
A special boy came into my life around the end of last year, and he helped me more than he will ever know. He helped me be me again. And here I am, still learning, still growing but, as happy as ever.
Now, I can’t tell you that everything is perfect. Or that I don’t fight with the people I care about. I still have bad days. I still have really, really low days. I still feel anxious, I still feel panic at times, I still occasionally slip into a depressive state.
I still cry. A lot. More than ever probably- but I’m feeling again. And that is everything.
I still spend a lot of time questioning myself, and where I will be in a year or so. But, every day I get closer and closer.
This year has made me want to keep getting better. I am inspired by this year as a whole.
Like for example, TODAY I finally realized/accepted/said out loud that I HAVE to follow my passion. I have to keep saying yes. And my big ‘yes’ right now is that I am going to, finally, take my photography seriously. I am going to continue to create, inspire, and live MY life.
I wish I had more to share, but I promise that this next year I will be behind the camera more, writing more, and being myself more. I wish that for all of you as well.
So if you are reading this, if you are struggling, or even if you just have been having some bad days, if you feel stuck or confused or scared- I'm not going to promise that it will end. But, I can promise you that your life is out there, go find it. Here is to saying yes, doing what makes you happy, letting people in. Here's to a life that feels like your favorite song on repeat.
Thank you to this year and to everyone in it. I am forever grateful for this phase of my life.