twenty-fourteen (also known as the year of good things)

"While it’s true you’re haunted by your past, it’s truer that you’ve traveled spectacularly far away from it. You swam across a wide and wild sea and you made it all the way to the other side. That it feels different here on this shore than you thought it would does not negate the enormity of the distance you traversed and the strength it took you to do it.Dear Sugar: Monsters and Ghosts

2014 was one of the best years of my life. There wasn't any huge wonderful moment that made it one of the best years, either. I didn't meet Ryan Gosling, I didn't win the lottery, and I didn't magically have an incredible wardrobe or the perfect hair. 2014 was a whirlwind - it was an emotional roller-coaster, it was being thrown into cold water and trying to swim to shore, and it was a hurricane of a lot of feelings. To throw something incredibly cheesy in here - it was perfectly imperfect. 

I've reflected a lot lately over the last few years and over 2014. The person I was at the start of 2014 is not the same person at the end of 2014; I'm a much better, kinder, softer, stronger person now. I look around at my life and I'm happy. 2014 was a year of peeling back layers and figuring out how to fix (or at least work on) the not-so-good things. 2014 was a necessary year; a year of good and bad. I needed to go through all the bad stuff to really realize the good, and that good is so many things.

It was reading books on love and life and learning. It was looking back at photos of yourself from the last few years and seeing how much happier you look now. It was reading Tiny Beautiful Things and finding light. It was making some way over-due decisions, and it was having some decisions made for me. It was always choosing happiness, even when it was a difficult choice to make. It was making boundaries and reminding people that yes, I am human and that means I make mistakes. It was falling in love with everything that makes me, me. It was sleeping on floors and couches and leaving notes for people I love. It was dancing and singing with my best friends. It was bonfires and champagne and 2am hammock chats under the stars. It was drive-ins, sticking heads out of car roof windows, and cozy nights in. It was reading quotes and finding comfort in them. 

It was learning that people must feel the weight of who I am and let them deal with it. It was realizing that sometimes you can hold someone in high regard but that doesn't mean they actually are as great as you thought they were. It was being okay even if someone is being insensitive. It was knowing that sometimes, you just have to let people continue to do the lame shit they do. It was knowing that maturity is being silent sometimes. It was unlearning the bad things; bad habits, bad thoughts, bad everything. It was remembering that people's actions are a reflection of them and not you. It was forgiving myself.

It was losing and letting go and leaving when it was my time to leave. It was graduating and realizing that Hey! I am capable of such great things, and I should continue those great things for the next few years. It was taking care of loose ends and not letting negative influences bother me. It was falling in love with everything; the way my sister can be as sassy as I can, the way my best friend is my favourite person to talk to, the way my mother continuously chooses her children over anything, and the way a pot of tea and a chat can fix most things. It was friends - so many friends, and falling in love with every single one of them. It was black dresses and wine in mason jars and red lips friendship. It was stepping back from things that didn't give me what I needed anymore. It was learning that acceptance really is a small, quiet room. It was crushes on boys with goofy smiles. It was 1989. 

It was being hurt and everything changing and having courage and feeling better. It was making peace and realizing that somethings aren't meant to work out the way you want you to. It was also realizing that just because things don't work out the way you want them to, it truly isn't the end of the world - something better always comes along. It was growing up and embracing this thing called 'being an adult'. It was knowing that even when things weren't okay, they would be eventually. 

It was laying in bed watching Leslie Knope and friends and laughing until I couldn't breathe. It was turning 22. It was adding a few copies of Peter Pan to my collection. It was being okay with writing the way I want to and not be caged in. It was relationships with my family and friends being the strongest they've ever been. It was realizing you have to be a whole person to find whole love. It was loving who I became and still becoming. It was being realistic. It was living lightly. It was learning what love, light, and freedom all feel like. It was feeling all three at once.

I get chills thinking about 2014, but I get even more thinking about 2015. Good things are ahead. More change, more being thrown into cold water, more scariness, more hard work, more learning, more love, more friends, more challenges. The thought of talking up a year is quite terrifying, simply because anything could happen - good or bad. But the beautiful thing about life?

It always goes on and things will always get better.

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