A transformative year

Can you look back and point out a year that was a particularly big year for you?  Maybe it wasn't the best year or the worst year, but it was a year that significantly changed you?

Up until this year, I would have told you that the end of 2007 through 2008 was my most transformative year - the year I spent my last days as a seventeen-year-old and entered the legal age of eighteen.  I lost both my grandparents within five months, moved out of my house, was dealing with the repercussions of being kicked out of high school (due to absences), enrolled in online school, and got a full-time job.  As dramatic as it sounds, this is how '07 - '08 played out.

Truthfully, I was miserable that year.  For a hundred and two different reasons, I often seriously questioned how I was going to get through that year.  But with a few kicks in the pants, support from many loved ones, and a lot  of undeserved grace I made it through and entered into 2009 a little more mature and a better person having gone through the previous 365 plus days.

Six years later, the year 2008 has been pushed to number two.  This year - 2014 - has been my most transformative year to date.  There was the more minor, worldly stuff that changed.  I moved a couple times, left a job, started routinely writing.  Then there was the bigger stuff.  My husband and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary.  We celebrated the arrival of our sweet Ella James.  All of these changes - big and small - combined fueled the great inward transformation I experienced this year.  All of the stuff you can't see - the emotional, the mental, the spiritual.  These were the things that changed significantly this year.  I was challenged in ways I've never experienced and found an inner strength I never knew I had.

I found my voice and made a choice to stay true to myself.  I took risks, did things that terrified me, I learned when to say "no" and when to say "yes." It seemed like my comfort zone knew no boundaries.  A quarter of the time I wanted to crawl into bed and not get out, but it's because I refused to do so that I became more of my best self this year.

I, like all of us, have a slew of things I'd like to work on and claim them as my "2015 resolutions." But too often, do we get caught up in that notion - bidding good riddance to the year that was and counting down the days until we can start anew.  And, all too often we don't give ourselves enough credit for what we've accomplished in fear of being too proud.  Of course, be modest, but don't write your 2014 self off.  Acknowledge your year.  Your achievements, your failures.

So before I make any new year's resolutions, I'm going to take this post and a few minutes to relish in this year, 2014, a hard one, a great one, and one I'm beyond proud of.

Here's to you, 2014.  Thanks for the challenges, the blessing, the joys, the accomplishments.  You've equipped me well for the years to come.


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