Hearing the beginning strains of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ as the clock strikes midnight never fails to conjure up a reaction in me. Basking in the last twinkling of Christmas lights, surrounded by couples kissing, confetti and noise makers, it should be a song that evokes feelings of joy and excitement, but it’s always quite bittersweet. The meaning of the title translates to “times gone by” and this year it resonates very deeply in my heart. 2018 has been a rollercoaster of extreme highs and lows and to be quite honest, I’ve never been more ready for a fresh start.
I began this year on an extreme high. I had come through my divorce on the other side completely unscathed and truthfully as a better version of myself. I was feeling amazing, excelling in my career, working out and eating well and had a jam-packed social calendar. Then out of nowhere my world was completely flipped on it’s axis. They always say love comes when you least are expecting it or looking for it and in this case it couldn’t be more true. I met what I am certain was my soulmate, a love I had never experienced before, and definitely not in my previous marriage. The first half of the year held so much promise and every day was better than the last. Then, as quickly as my life changed before, it was flipped again. The roller coaster had climbed to its highest peak and was careening in a downward spiral at 100mph and I am still trying to get my bearings and get past this event. It’s been more than tough. This is admittedly the most crippling, devastating loss of my life to date, and I honestly didn’t know it was possible to feel grief on the scale I have dealt with the second half of this year.
But this is life in a nutshell, this ebb and flow of good and bad. Newton taught us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction and unfortunately that means every extreme high is going to have an accompanying extreme low when it is lost. For every good event, there will be bad. There are days I don’t want to get out of bed, but thankfully, I have no other choice. As a single, independent woman with no family money to fall back on, I HAVE to be ok. I have no safety net, because I AM my safety net. Failure and giving up is not an option. When there is darkness surrounding me, I have to put one foot in front of the other and feel my way around the unfamiliar and find the damn light switch.
I have only the highest of hopes for the upcoming year. I want to use this hardship as a vessel for further learning about MYSELF and what is going to make my life feel more complete, what makes me truly happy and what I am to expect out of a partner so I’m no longer settling for less. I want this misery to drive me out of my comfort zone and force me to do all the things I’ve been procrastinating on. It already is, because when everything in your comfort zone is tied to a painful memory, it’s no longer comfortable. I’ve increased my travelling ten-fold and met so many interesting and exciting people the second half of this year, and have every intention of continuing that. My experiences with this human taught me that I have an almost insatiable thirst for adventure. I want to try everything unfamiliar, eat all the exotic foods and be exposed to cultures and lifestyles around the world. I’ve spent my entire life in the tiny bubble that is East Tennessee, and while I love this place, there is 99.9999% of the world just waiting to be discovered MY way. This catastrophic event has opened my eyes to the fact that you only get one shot at this life so you better spend it making yourself truly happy, no matter what other people think and live your life with no regrets, because before you know it you could be looking back on an entire lifetime of unfulfilled goals and “what ifs.” I want to stop wasting time on things that don’t fulfill me, whether it’s jobs or friendships or relationships and invest my energy into all the things that bring me true joy because THAT is where I am going to find my passions.
I think this year everyone can look back and say “Phew. That was a wild one.” I hope we all can grow from our hardships and let them strengthen us as humans. I hope we all can cherish and appreciate the good memories from 2018 and let them pull us through the bad times when we have nothing else to cling to. There is absolutely always something to be grateful for in every single day, even if it sometimes is just the fact that we woke up with a roof over our head. I hope you’re all blessed with great success and love in the new year and let’s take 2019 by storm!