This is my last blog post of 2019 and my 52nd blog post this year. Each post shared a different moment—whether happy or sad—of my life to help spark discussions for you with other people or within yourself.
Within those blog posts was a life that I lived everyday, full of both blessings and pain. But I’m sure it was like that for you as well. I’m sure you had your fair share of moments of happiness and moments of sadness. But I hope that within your moments of sadness, you still had some joy. I hope that when you reflect back on your year, that you can remember those moments of joy as the moments that fueled you more than the moments that harmed you.
I think too often we tend to cling to those moments of pain. We often think those moments of pain define us. We spend a lot of time wondering what could have been, or a lot of time hoping for what could be. And with the new year coming along, we spend more time reminiscing and hoping for better than at any other time of the year.
What I want to focus on during this time of year, however, is strength. In 2019, I got engaged to my best friend and experienced the melding of two families. I left my full-time job to pursue my dreams, and that has exceeded my expectations in every way possible but has come with its fair share of challenges and fears. And then there is my mom’s cancer—the low that has too often left me feeling emotionally numb for the last 6 months of the year, what my therapist has called extended trauma.
But if 2019 has taught me anything, it is that strength and resiliency run through mine and my family’s veins like a flowing river and that through every high and low, love and faith have been the foundation.
And strength and resiliency run through your veins too. You may have experienced a lot of really terrible things this year, and for that, I am sorry that you had to endure those things. But you are here today. And you got up today and you did the best that you could with what you had. Maybe you messed up along the way, but you did the best that you could, and you always kept growing and learning from those mistakes. You are here today, and you are still fighting for yourself and for everything that you deserve.
I want us all to focus on the strength that we have within us to persevere through difficult times. The strength you have within you has gotten you through every difficult time in 2019 and will continue to do so in every year moving forward.
So this year, instead of focusing on just the negatives or just the positives of 2019, I am focusing on my strength. The strength that gets me up in the morning and keeps me going. The strength that tells me to get in front of a crowd and share my story. The strength that reminds me to be vulnerable and cry in front of others, despite my trauma that tells me I shouldn’t. The strength that brings me to hospitals over and over to be there for my loved ones. The strength to still choose me every single day.
Even when times get difficult, you have your strength. And don’t tell me that you are not strong, because you wouldn’t have made it to this point with all that you have gone through without immense strength. Remember you are strong. And that the strength you have within you and the strength that you will continue to acquire will continue to push you through whatever comes your way. I hope that no matter what 2019 looked like, or whatever 2020 will look like, that you always remember that you have already built a beautiful foundation that can’t be broken. The foundation may get shaky, but it can’t be broken.
So to 2019, I am forever grateful for every piece of you, and I know 2020 is going to be even better, full of so much love and so much faith, so many laughs and hugs and oh, I get to marry the man who reminds me of my love and my faith. So thank you, 2019, for giving me an even stronger foundation. I know that even when I feel numb, confused or angry, that my foundation will keep me moving forward for a brighter tomorrow.
That brighter tomorrow is coming. Remember that, my strong warrior.