There’s a shared feeling that 2016 has been a terrible, horrible, no-good year. While some curve-balls hit me in the gut (*cough*election*), this year was far from my worst. Here are my four reason that this year didn’t absolutely suck:
- At the start of this year I left an abusive relationship with an alcoholic. I’ve navigated many people out of bad situations, but never myself. It is much harder than I previously understood. I get that now. But I ended the relationship – as difficult and embarrassing as it was – and if I had not, then 2016 would have been truly terrible.
- I have worked very hard to own my responsibility for what happened – to the extent that I am responsible for enabling his behavior, lying to hide the situation and trying to ignore the truth. I realize I cannot be responsible for his side of the relationship. Shaking the manipulation and the harm to my self-esteem has been a challenge. But, I feel good about myself again. I’m not perfect, but I’m not afraid to breathe anymore like I was before. This year gave me the time and space to move forward and understand myself again.
- These refocused efforts have helped my work, my kids and even my relationship with my ex-husband. I have become very in-tune with the struggles my clients face and that has allowed me to be a better lawyer. While I’ve lost some relationships that turned out to be unhealthy, I’ve gained faith and trust in myself. Being honest with yourself is a threshold to having honest connections with others. I am thankful for finding so many new (and rekindled) friendships that have come my way as a result.
- During my darkest moments this year, I was able to write a body of work that I believe will help other people deal with the loss of their relationships (whether healthy or not, sometimes relationships fail). I hope to continue pushing myself in this endeavor as we come to the end of 2016. Look for news about my publication efforts in the year to come.
Looking forward to 2017, I have sorrows from the losses we suffered culturally and politically this year. I am concerned about social policy changes that might harm my friends and loved ones. I am concerned about this country and our place in the world. But I am ready. It was a hard year, which means it was an incredible opportunity for growth and change. Thank you, 2016, for helping me find my strength.
Count-down is on for January 1st!
What will you achieve this year? What made 2016 a good year? Discuss in the comments.