- Posted December 29, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The written word: Your personal essays
Out with the Old, In with the New.
"Every year as December 31st approaches I follow suit with the rest of the world and reflect back on the year I’m about to leave behind. Luckily, I’m fortunate enough to live a life that is more full of celebration than of sorrow, full of more triumph than regret, and full of more love than hate. Because of this, I often have a hard time setting resolutions because there’s never much I feel I want to change in the coming year. Looking back at 2013, life has been both beautiful and brutal at times. Truly, the best of both worlds, 2013 has been the epitome of bittersweet.
If you told me on December 31st, 2012 that I would be standing 50 feet away from two deadly explosions in four months, I would have laughed in disbelief. But that’s the thing, you couldn’t have told me that would happen…no one could have told me that would happen. If you told me on December 31st, 2012 that I would be forever changed by the events of the coming year, I would have hesitated to believe you. If you told me that the people I would be blessed to meet in 2013 would give me an appreciation for life I never would have been able to grasp on my own, I would have shrugged my shoulders at you.
Every year, I try to avoid changing, yet every year, I am ever-changing. This past year has likely been one of the most pivotal in my life, showing me the extreme highs and lows, along with the fragility of human life and the dire need to live every single day like it matters, because it does. I don’t like some of the events of this past year. Some of them aren’t fair. Some of them are actually awful and make me cry when I think of them as I write this, but perhaps one of the best lessons I’ve learned in 2013 is that life isn’t fair, life is just life. Life comes at us with the unthinkable, with the unspeakable, and with the unfathomable…but when it does, it always gives us the ability to love the hell out of other people to make sure we never, ever, go through these times alone. Life gives us exactly what we need to get through the hard times even if we can’t see that until we’ve moved through them.
I was talking to a friend the other day about how 2014 is approaching with so much uncertainty. I told her that thinking back to the unpredictability of 2013 really scared me and that I was scared that 2014 would prove to be just as much of a roller coaster. I thought a lot about what I said that day and realized that the best I can do is just buckle up and brave the ride. In light of this, I vowed to change up my resolutions for this year. I don’t want to avoid change, because as I’ve learned in 2013, change forces us to grow, sometimes before we are ready to do so. Change has made me vulnerable, change has made me scared, yet change has always brought me to the exact place that I need to be: right here, right now.
In 2014, I don’t want to resolve to lose weight. I don’t want to resolve to go to the gym 4 times a week. I don’t want to cook more and order out less. I don’t want to chop my hair off and change my look. You know, they say that you can’t be good at everything but if 2013 has taught me anything, it has taught me that is so far from the truth.
In 2014, I want to be so damn good at everything I do, because I can, because we all can. In 2014, I want to be the best version of myself. I want to love more. I want to try more, not at any one particular thing, but at everything. I want to be the best nurse practitioner. I want to be the best nanny, the best friend, the best daughter, and the best sister. I want to be the best me, and I want to be so true to myself that on December 31st 2014, I can look back at the last 12 months and say that I lived the hell out of that year, because while it may feel like a long year, it’s a year with a lot of potential, and potential is too rare to waste.
This year, don’t run from change. Don’t hold on to the regrets of 2013 and carry them forward with you into 2014. Don’t resolve to change things that don’t matter. This year, learn from 2013 and carry with you only the ability to do every single act with love and gratitude for the year past…for when we act out of love and gratitude, we become love and gratitude.
Cheers to a Happy New Year and an ever-fulfilling 2014."