It was the best of times, it was the worst of times - 2016 Reflection

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Reflecting back on 2016 brings tears to my eyes. And not in the way people would expect. This year has bent, twisted, and broken me in more ways than I can count. One year ago I never would have imagined that the future I was planning would never come to pass and that all of my plans would blow up in my face...and I would be eternally grateful for that! I never could have seen that what should have been a terrible thing, turned into so many blessings! That I would finally see how strong I am, realize the amazing people in my life, and find a faith that had been there all along but now I truly understood.

I have spent my life being a planner, setting out goals, crossing them off a list and setting new ones. It's a great quality for the most part but I never factored in the unexpected; and how sometimes those lead to the greatest beginnings. There is a surreal and incredible feeing when the plan blows up and you're left standing there in the rubble of your life and the next step you take into the unknown is fully by choice and faith. There's a freedom in being in each moment and listening to that gut feeling that says you're ok, just take a step and keep moving forward. There is excitement in starting over and designing a future that makes me happy instead of one I felt I needed to take. I've never felt so alive!

I can be angry at what didn't work out. I can be angry at the person who put me in this unknown space. Everyone would understand. Heck, sometimes people don't get how I'm not! But instead I'm so incredibly grateful. I was given a huge gift. A gift of a new beginning. A gift of discovering myself. A gift of truly having to put everything into my faith and know it's all going to be ok. And the gift of discovering new friendships, learning the strength and support of my family, an incredible church, and one huge safety net of people I never knew were there.

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It's a bizarre feeling to go through something that is meant to break you and instead find you've never been happier. I have no idea what's next, and that's ok. I could hate 2016 but why, when this is the year that shifted everything! Whatever happens now will be because of what happened before. 2017, I am excited and ready for whatever you bring. I'll close it out with one of my favorite quotes from Hope Floats "Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it's the middle that counts. Remember that when you find yourself at the beginning."

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