Feeling very nostalgic reflecting back on 2016, but experiencing far more joy and gratitude. This year was genuinely one for the books, both for obvious reasons and for not so obvious reasons. I spent some time today transporting back to January 1, 2016 and time traveling through each month. I listed out things I did, places I saw, events I visualized + planned, obstacles I overcame and moments of change.
Getting married was by far the best thing to happen to me this year. The days leading up to our wedding were challenging, exciting and confusing at times. Something I learned along the way is that not everything is going to go as expected and the disagreements and conflict is actually what makes the day what it is (as well as the rest of your life with a new partner). Corey and I could not have asked for or imagined a more beautiful and meaningful day. What made it so spectacular was the challenge of having to work through decision-making, communication and setting priorities together as a unit, not necessarily as individuals. These three lessons helped in setting the tone of how this little thing called marriage goes. It requires work, understanding and forgiveness. We’re quickly learning the best things in life aren’t just given to us; they require work.
While much of this year was dedicated toward planning our wedding, I also experienced a vast amount of change in my profession. Earlier this year, I left a job I loved for another opportunity I felt would provide both happiness and growth. With a curve ball thrown my way months later, another round of change presented itself. What I’ve learned is curve balls help you grow. I was confused, scared and panicked in this moment of change, but realized what I had in front of me was actually an opportunity. An opportunity to seek out something that will challenge me, allow me to learn, grow my professional skill set and strengthen my network + relationships. What I’ve uncovered is that we’re all after something both personally and professionally – perhaps it is to be a part of something with purpose, to be doing something where we feel valued or even be somewhere with benefits that are second to none. Whatever it is, we still are required to work hard and with passion. The one variable I often forget to keep in perspective is that all contentment in work takes time. I recently listened to a brilliant video that explained why Millennial’s often leave their places of work after only 8-10 months. Why? Because they didn’t feel that they were making an impact. We have instant gratification in everything we do which in turn makes us feel like we’ve failed if substantial success doesn’t happen immediately. While I’ve worked hard in all my previous places of work, I’m learning that a challenge only promotes growth. It is okay to hear no and it is okay to experience hurdles in life…it’s all part of it.
I’ve devoted a lot of attention and time to enhancing my relationships with members in my family as well as my friendships. In past years, I’ve let growth in friendships fall to the wayside. As I’m nearing my late twenties, I understand that friendships change with time; it is inevitable and something we often have no control over. I am so grateful for the trips I took with my closest girlfriends this year. The memories we created will forever be some of my favorites and I’m beyond thankful for how selfless and loyal the women in my life are. My bachelorette party weekend in Sonoma was particularly special for me. My mom, sisters, sister-in-law and closest friends all there to help me celebrate a major life change…doesn’t get much better than that. Each of these ladies put so much time and effort into planning, creating the most memorable and fun weekend.
This year has also included a lot of learning, particularly about me and my habits. Something I’ve consistently been working on is the act of listening. I know that the act of being present is incredibly hard for me which is also probably why really tuning in and listening can be tricky. I am not talking about just listening to the words coming out of the persons mouth, but rather what they are actually saying and being able to digest that and purposely respond. A big goal of mine is simply thinking before speaking. When regret comes with words being spoken, a change needs to take place. Another area of progress for me has been gratitude. I often hone in what I don’t have instead of being grateful for what I do have. I invested in a gratitude journal which has helped guide me with this practice. I strongly feel that with gratitude comes happiness and contentment. I also overcame a few personal hurdles this year where sticking to my guns seemed near impossible. I knew what I wanted but the guilt, frustration and sadness came close to changing my mind. I stood up for what I wanted and believed would make me happy and am incredibly grateful for the outcome.
Finally, these last two months have afforded me great pride in this little blog of mine. I’ve put forth commitment as well as time into creating something I feel will inspire and spark conversation for all the amazing people that follow along. A large goal of mine as we dive into a New Year is outlining exactly what I want See Happiness Through to symbolize and do for all my readers. I’m excited for the road I’m about to embark on in the world of blogging (one I am still learning to navigate!).
I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year – one filled with adventure, joy, growth, kindness and LOVE.