2016: I Survived.

New Year. New Me.

Sike.

This is not going to be one of those inspirational posts about how I will drastically change my life in the next year; about how 2017 WILL be my year; about how all my bad habits will fall to the wayside come midnight and I will be a completely new, happy, upbeat, optimistic person when I rise out of bed tomorrow morning.

New Year’s is actually pretty hard for me. I feel overwhelming pressure to make the next year better than the last one – to achieve more, higher, better, to raise my standards, to meet greater goals, to achieve overall success and “have it all together”. In the past I often set (VERY) unrealistic new years resolutions: get fit, go to the gym more, read more books, practice violin more, etc etc. Everything felt as though it needed to be more, more, MORE.

And it never worked. I was constantly struggling against my true self – the person that God designed and created me to be. It was all I could do to simply tread water and even though I have come a LONG way from when I was sinking, I still have a lot of work to do. But this coming year won’t be the year of taking on MORE, of trying to achieve MORE, of trying to be MORE, of trying to do MORE. 2017 will be the year of un-doing. I don’t want to set lofty, unachievable goals that will end up leaving me frustrated and being too hard on myself – I want to set intentions. I want to create a life that helps me to live healthily, happily, and whole heartedly.

My New Year’s intention for 2017 is to be more intentional in taking care of myself (ironically I type that as I lay in bed with a bottle of gatorade, a thermometer, and a trash can next to me because I seem to have contracted some strange mutated version of the stomach flu). I don’t mean that in a strictly nutritional way, although towards the end of last semester I fully acknowledge that my diet of granola bars and coffee was not up to par and that is something that I can definitely work on. But I also want to achieve over all health – I want to spend more time with God, allow myself to become more vulnerable in His presence. I want to allow myself to explore my feelings (as cheesy as that sounds, I know – even I rolled my eyes while I typed it). I want to try new things and see new places. I want to give up my excessive need for routine and live, not on the edge, but maybe just a little bit closer to it at times. I want to let go of my obsessive need to strive, strive, strive, and allow myself to enjoy time cuddling with my puppy, reading a book, taking a walk, and laughing and loving my sweet sweet friends.

I guess I feel like 2016 wasn’t the greatest. I mean, it had a lot to live up too after all the exploring of 2015 – traveling the country with my father, meeting new people, seeing new places, planting new roots, etc. And of course, if you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time you’re probably at least somewhat familiar with the transformation of life that took place in 2014 – with over three months spent in treatment and an entirely new life built for myself.

And so we’ve come full circle – maybe part of my 2017 new years intentions will be to accept that not every day, month, or even every year will be outstanding, magnificent, astounding, spectacular, etc etc. Not everything in my life needs to be big and explosive and WOW WOW WOW ALL OF THE TIME. It’s exhausting and I need to learn that it’s okay to just BE. It’s okay to be fine – I don’t need to be awesome, fantastic, stupendous, all of the time. And when I’m not all those positive things, it also doesn’t mean that I am destined to be awful, horrible, terrible, or bad. I am allowed to exist and be nothing more or nothing less than fine.

2016 was a year of fine. Nothing too grand, nothing extremely awful.

But there were some good moments and I want to bring them to light again once more before we all look ahead to something new:

We had some pretty cool visitors at U of M during the 2016 year! ^^^

I got to give a recital in May and I also got to see my friends’ senior recital and visit some buddies from my old school!

One of my favorite parts of 2016 was getting to see my human graduate from college! I am so outrageously proud of this girl and all she has gone through and overcome – she is a warrior and she inspires me every day! God gave me a sister in the most unconventional of ways, but I am so so glad that He did!

I spent my summer traveling and also attended Meadowmount School of Music and Innsbrooke Institute where I met some pretty amazing individuals ❤

I moved permanently to Ann Arbor and got to bring my love with me! Love my rescue dog ❤

I had to say goodbye to my pastor, and one of my favorite people, in Va, BUT I finally found and was welcomed into a new church family here in Ann Arbor – God is good!!!

School was decent, grades were good!

I got by with a little help from my friends ❤

And my family, too 🙂

2016 was a big year for Rachi, she moved too a new city and got to explore lots of new places – her adoption story also won the Lynchburg Humane Society a holiday grant!!!

Sweet friends, sweet pups, sweet memories…

 

So, to 2016 – there were lots of good memories and for that I’m thankful. But mostly, I survived. I’m still here, fighting my way through life trying to learn to love like Jesus and be a light to His kingdom. I’m praying for 2017 for me, for you, and for our entire world – that we may all learn and grow in immeasurable ways that bring glory to the things/people in our lives which we truly value and love.

For me, that means learning to love more life Jesus and follow His lead in my life. I’m nervous, anxious, and apprehensively excited about all that 2017 has in store – God is good and He will reign forever! Onward and Upwards, my friends! And to 2016, that’s a wrap!!

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“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
Neil Gaiman

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