Dear 2017, Thank You

New Year’s Eve is upon us once again and, for me at least, it’s hard to believe. As each year passes, I find myself asking the same question….where did this year go?

I remember my grandpa telling me that time always seems to go by slow when you’re a child, but the older you get, time goes by in the blink of an eye. Boy, how true that is.

2017 has been an interesting year, to say the least. It wasn’t the best year, but it certainly wasn’t the worst. It wasn’t a year that I would relive, but it is one that I am sad to see go. Weird, huh?

Many wonderful things happened this year….

  • I adopted my first rescue dog, therefore diving even deeper into my passion for animal advocacy.
  • I welcomed my twin cousins in February, and they are truly the definition of JOY!
  • I took my mom on a much-needed girls vacation to Disney World & we had a BLAST! I’d relive that again in a heartbeat!
  • I enrolled full-time back in college, this time online through Penn Foster, in the Veterinary Technician program. Hardest thing I’ve done so far, but I know I can make it!
  • I left my safe, comfortable job as a travel agent to pursue my dream of working with animals every day. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s gotten me out of my comfort zone, & it is so worth it.
  • I celebrated my cousin’s wedding at a beautiful location with my family. It was the first time we were all together in a while, and it was the first time that I met my sweet baby boy cousins. I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun!
  • My annual Boston weekend trip commenced once again, and that is always an amazing time!
  • Lastly, celebrating the holidays with my family was the perfect way to end this year.  My family is my heart, and I can’t imagine life without them.

And, many lessons were learned this year too…

  • I learned that anxiety & depression cannot rule your life….unless you let it. You always have a choice to fight or give in, and while there will be those moments where you just want to surrender to all of those feelings, you won’t. Because you are stronger than you give yourself credit for.
  • I learned that professionalism is everything when it comes to being an adult. When you’re out in the workforce, you have to learn how to conduct yourself professionally, and respectfully. You have to learn how to leave your personal luggage at the door, and keep that smile on your face. Always fake it till you make it!
  • I learned that there is a purpose for everyone that comes into your life. As cliché as it sounds, it really is true. Some people come into your life for a season, and some for a lifetime. Either way, each person comes in (& out) of your life for a reason. You have to learn that no matter how much you want someone to be in, or stay in your life, you simply cannot force it. The ones that are meant to be there, will be there, no matter what.
  • I learned to trust in my faith more than ever. This year, I really battled with my beliefs, but ultimately became closer to God than ever before. Nobody said having faith would be easy, but I can tell you, it is worth it. I learned that I’d rather live my life with God in it because without Him, I would never have the strength to face the storms of life.
  • Building on that, I also learned that God will never give you more than you can handle. It might feel like it at times, but when you feel like you’re drowning, that’s when God wants you to come to rely on Him. When you feel like you’re all alone, that’s the exact time that God wants you to turn to Him. He is always waiting to console you, comfort you, and love you with open arms.
  • I learned that friends will come and go, but your family really is forever. In life, you’ll really only have a couple of close friends, if you’re lucky. And, that’s perfectly okay. I learned that it’s quality, not quantity that matters.
  • I learned that you shouldn’t let petty differences and disagreements get in the way of your relationships. No one is ever going to have the same opinions as you, and no one is going to always agree with you. You will get into arguments and butt heads with the people you love. That’s only natural. The key is, never let those things overshadow your love for each other. Life is short, your time is limited. Let it go.

Last, but not least, I learned that….

“A ship that sails backwards, never sees the sun rise.”

Meaning, that if you keep looking back, you will never move forward into all that you’re meant to be. It’s okay to visit the past, after all, it helped shape you, but don’t live there. Don’t get stuck on what’s behind you. Someone very valuable taught me that this year, and it has now stayed with me in everything I do.

So, 2017, I thank you. Thank you for another year of lessons and learning. Thank you, for the numerous blessings you have brought into my life this year. Thank you, for allowing me to grow in ways I never expected. You are now a closed chapter in my book.

Dear 2018, welcome. My hands are open to see what you have in store.


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