Last year this time I was counting on 2016 to be better than 2015.
2016 was a year that faced me with challenges I thought I could never overcome. I had to say goodbye to family members, I lost friends, I faced a medically debilitating situation that forced me into financial crisis.People I thought I could count on, suddenly distanced themselves. I found myself feeling alone and defeated. Until the moment I realized that I still had more than I knew.
There are constants in all of our lives that I had been taking for granted. It’s a lesson I always refer back to. It has never been about the amount of people in my life. It’s always been about the quality of people in my life.
Through a year that really truly sucked, my beautiful sister stood by me. My wonderful brother stood by me. My loving father stood by me. In a time where I felt lost and with nowhere to go, I ran away to Peterborough and I stayed with my aunt and uncle and visited my cousins and suddenly, I felt my place in the world again. Miles and oceans apart, my family in India never wavered.
Goals may change and sometimes that can leave us all feeling like maybe we have failed or that we’re lost. 2016 taught me that in fact, I wasn’t lost and that I hadn’t failed. 2016 taught me that goals change because we change. We simply need to spend some time really reflecting on our lives. Never stop asking questions and always try to reply with new answers. My morning pages have always been a way for me to learn new things about myself and uncover the roots of all my thoughts.
So 2016, you got yourself a bit of a bad reputation. Your name is trending all over the internet. You’ve got hashtags cursing your name. On this day, one year ago, the world had high hopes for prosperity, love, success, health and happiness all on your hands. Instead, you showed us change and maybe I haven’t been mature enough to see that change is OK.
Maybe through all the change in our lives, we forgot to rely on our constants. Maybe we’ve made excuses. Often, I find myself using death as an excuse not to live. Maybe, I’ve been afraid to live because I didn’t want to have it all taken away. Maybe I refused to live because death had taken someone from my life. I’ve seen death as an end when really, it is simply a change.
Tonight, on New Year’s Eve, 2016 will end. Yet, the world isn’t mourning the loss of 2016. The world is celebrating 2017 without even knowing what it has in store for each of us.
So, tonight, as I look toward 2017 with hope. As we celebrate with music, food and gatherings, I realize that 2016 has been good to me. Despite all the bad that has happened, I’ve made it to the other side a little bit wiser and a little bit older. 2016 taught me that my strength has always been within me to endure all the changes that may come.
So, despite the hard year behind me, despite all the unknown ahead of me, tonight (New Year’s Eve), I will celebrate. I will celebrate not just the New Year to come.. I will celebrate the years gone by and all that each has offered. I will embrace even the hardest times as lessons learned and no matter how hard each year is, I will spend every New Year’s Eve forever thankful for the fresh start in front of us.
Let New Year’s Eve forever be a reminder to never give up. If you feel like you’ve failed, get up, dust off and try again. Because, no matter how much of a fail #2016 has been or how much of a fail #2015 was and every year before that, we still gather on New Year’s Eve COUNTING on the New Year to be better than the last. Let that constant hope always defeat our thoughts of giving up.