Dear 2019,

You broke me.

You chewed me up and you spit me back out.

You were relentless.

You took a lot out of me.

But while you may have broken my spirit, you also fixed my vision.

You taught me a lot – about myself, about others, and about the One Who gave it all.

I learned that I have a voice. I learned to speak my truth and to speak for those who are voiceless. I learned it’s okay to not be okay. That there are always going to be moments where I don’t feel okay. And these moments are important; they help me grow into the person I was always meant to become.

I learned that it’s okay to ask for help. That it’s important to be honest about my pain, because it’s real, and it’s scary, and sometimes it can be too much. I learned that it’s okay to fall, stumble, and then start again. And again. And again.

I learned that not everyone is going to understand my journey, and that’s okay. My journey is just that – my journey – no one else’s. And it’s okay to say no, to put me first, and to rest.

2019, you taught me that the mistakes I’ve made along the way are lessons, not failures. That it’s okay to let myself feel sad. That I don’t have to fake a smile when all I want to do is cry.

I learned that I am not where I want to be. And it’s okay. Everyone starts somewhere. I learned that change takes time. Getting to a better place takes time. I’m not a failure because it’s taking me so long or because I was struggling for so long just to start.

I am not weak or incapable. I am human. This work is hard. It’s uncomfortable and mentally and physically taxing and terrifying, and it makes total sense that it would take me time. It makes sense that this is a struggle.

I can’t solve my whole life overnight and I don’t have to feel ashamed for being where I’m at. Each day I just have to focus on one small thing I can do to get me closer to where I want to be.

I don’t have it all figured out. I am far from where I want to be. I am still learning, still finding my way, and that takes time. And, in 2020, I’m going to allow myself that time. I’m going to allow myself to show up in the world imperfectly, and to be someone who’s still figuring out their path and their purpose.

I can’t go back to 2019 and change the decisions I made, but I can choose what I do today. I can keep choosing, again and again. My power is in today. Whatever happened in 2019 happened, and all the shame and guilt in the world won’t undo that.

Today, in 2020, I’m moving forward with the new knowledge and experiences 2019 has given me. So, thank you, 2019, for breaking me, changing me, fixing me, and molding me. You were a heck of a year – a year that I will always be thankful for.


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