What. A. Year. It seems like everyone wrote their love (or hate) letters to you sometime last week, but I wanted to wait until after the ball dropped so I could measure out how the year was to me up to the very last second. And I’m sure glad I did!
2017, you started off pretty strong. You brought me to all across the country – Miami, Boston, Wisconsin, Vegas, Nashville, Cali, and even Turks and Caicos. I swear, it felt like I was on a plane every other week this year. No complaints from me, though. I soaked up the sun rays, got to see my first drag show, had the opportunity to be on the field at Camp Randall stadium for the Wisconsin football game, surfed for the first time and even (accidentally) swam with a shark. Eek!!
You also brought me the best relationship I’ve ever had – to date, at least. *Spoiler Alert*, you also took that relationship away. I wouldn’t change it for anything, because I learned what a healthy relationship feels like. I learned that a guy can be handsome, successful and also a really good boyfriend. That there are guys out there who will call when they say they’re going to call, that will sneak into your office to leave a rose on your desk before you get there in the morning because you watch the Bachelor together. And I learned that you can respect each other enough that you can disagree on a million things and still not raise your voice to each other, or say hurtful things. I also learned that just because you want something to work and it looks good on paper, doesn’t mean it’s meant to be. I learned that it’s important (at least at 25) to put yourself first, and that you don’t need to compromise on something that’s super important to you for the sake of the other person. 2017, you had me in tears when my boyfriend moved out to California for good. You had me on 4 day trips out to LA where I learned that I’m terrible at surfing and that understanding parking signs out there is nearly impossible. You introduced me to the sweetest family I’ve ever had the pleasure of spending time with. And even with all of this, you brought me the realization that as much as we wanted the long distance to work, that we just weren’t The One for each other. And that’s ok 💗
, you turned my view on “adults” completely upside down. For some reason, I just assumed that real grownups have their shit together. Lolz, they don’t. If anything, they need even more help than the rest of us sometimes. It may have taken me some time, but you taught me to see things from other people’s perspectives, even if I don’t agree with their judgement calls. Don’t get me wrong- I still hand out the tough love when it’s needed. But sometimes people just need a hug and to hear that they’re loved. So now I’m working on adding that in, every single time.
You brought me the first real loss I’ve ever experienced when my uncle passed away unexpectedly. I think about him almost daily, with the dumbest things reminding me of him and either bringing tears to my eyes or a quick laugh. But with that loss, I vowed to say “yes” to things more, like my Uncle did. He was the true definition of work hard, play hard. When you have 2-hour long lines of people waiting to pay their respects at your wake, or when the church has to create and over-flow room at the church with video cameras set up because so many people wanted to attend your funeral, you know you lived life the right way. In his honor, I’m pushing myself out of my comfort zone more. I’m realizing that once a day passes, you can’t get it back. That any day could be someone’s last, and I need to love harder than ever before.
Most importantly, you helped me learn to value myself. I went from not being able to run a mile without stopping to being able to run 5. I learned how to cook more than just a grilled cheese. I learned that the creepy guys on Bumble who ask you to “snuggle” aren’t even worth the swipe. To be fair, I knew that one already but just needed a reminder. You’ve reminded me that I’m so young – and that now is the time to be selfish. That I need to go after what I want. You’ve taught me that I am so incredibly, massively, totally loved. And that feeling, above all, is what I’m the most grateful for.
Thank you, 2017.