I don't believe in New Year resolutions. Let's be honest; the end of the year comes after the holidays where we over-indulge on everything from our budgets to our waistlines. In an effort to over-correct, we find ourselves making commitments that we far exceed our true desire to create change.
At the end of the year, we find ourselves thinking back over the things we have done, the ways we have changed, and (often most notably) the ways we have fallen short of our own expectations or guide posts.
This Year I . . .
Received my endowments in the Draper Temple
Planned a surprise "Dr Who" birthday party for my best friend (with streamers and everything because we're five years old)
. . . It got weirder as the night progressed.
Nerded it up and went to Comic Con to get my picture with Matt Smith and to prove that I am Whovian enough to brave an enclosed space filled with people who do not shower on the reg.
(If you don't understand the tally marks, watch Dr. Who. Like now. It will change your life)
Traveled to New York and saw Wicked at the Gershwin Theater
I went to the happiest (and my favorite) place on earth with my best friend!
I marked 10 years since losing my beautiful mother. Not a day has passed since when she hasn't been present in my thoughts.
After 10 years, my sister and her family moved back from Alaska. I still can't believe they are really here.
I went to Yellowstone for the first time and discovered the truly putrid stench that geysers let off.
Traveled to Chicago for work and fell in love with the view from my room and the city in general (what our crazy schedule allowed anyway).
We visited Sun Valley, where days spent by the pool with a good book were plenty and happiness-filled.
Received a promotion to Communications Manager at Younique; the result from a long year of ambitiously striving toward that goal.
Seeing these photos in quick succession (much like you do when scrolling through your Facebook feed), it is easy to assume that my year has been filled with happiness and success. It would be hard to think after reading this carefully put together post, that my life is anything but the depictions to which these images allude.
Here's the fortunate thing about life; there are always blessings. There are always moments you can pull from a 12 month span that reflect happiness and contentment. There is achievement, adventure, success, love, and many more things to help you realize your life is rich and has meaning.
What these images don't portray is the very real difficulty that has been this last year; a year full of pain and difficult change. From the loss felt from severing familial relationships to the testing moments of isolation and the very tangible realization of my own shortcomings. I won't share specifics here; it's not the appropriate place. But when the clock rang midnight, an audible "thank you" left my spirit. I was more than happy to say farewell to those last 12 months.
If I know one thing, it is that happiness and light come from understanding struggle and pain.
My early teenage years were spent solely in darkness, avoiding anything or anyone that shined too brightly. I despised those with health. I detested anyone that had a mother to go home to. And it almost killed me.
I can't tell you when it happened, but there was a tangible moment when I realized that the pain in my life was cyclical, and that I had the power to control the spinning wheel.
Pain and sorrow and trial have many ends; many real and imagined victories. Mine? The ability to truly feel joy and gratitude in a way that previously I could never imagine.
The difficulty of feeling true failure, for example, only heightens the accomplishment of knowing success. The bitter loss known when someone leaves you only aids in the complete gratitude and love felt when someone stands with you.
I look toward 2016 with hope and faith. Undoubtedly there will be struggle, but I anxiously await the joy and love and tangible happiness that struggle will unleash.
May we all have courage to meet it head-first.