A Letter To 2018: We're Not Leaving Anything To Read Between The Lines

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I spent the last day of 2016 in the Veterinary Hospital - walked out of there thousands of dollars in debt and feeling unsure if my then 4-year-old puppy was ever going to be able to walk once she got out of emergency surgery.

As I write this, my dog ran into the room because she thought I was already eating the pasta that's cooking on the stove. 

2017 has been my year for extreme highs and all-time lows. My strength has been both tested and questioned. 

All the while, I’ve managed to come out on top. 365 days change you. Hour after hour you lean into yourself a bit more, you find ways to anchor yourself in things that matter. You lose friends, and gain confidants, with the ease that comes with growing a year older and a year wiser. 

Turning 25 scared me, but paying attention to who 25 and 2018 is going to turn me into, that doesn't scare me. I'm not afraid to learn more about how being strong and being open are synomous for me. 

Because the truth is that I feel things and once I feel things, I tend to say them. I don't live between the lines because that's what playing it safe looks like. Life is too short to play it safe. I will always go all in when it comes to loving myself well. 

I look toward 2018 with the knowledge that the ace up my sleeve isn't the only one that’s found a home there. I have many and they come out to play every time I’m put up against a wall and the roots I thought held me down are pulled up from the ground. They tickle my arm every time my hand is held or I hold my stomach from laughing. 

The ace looks like my family, who as you grow older evolve from the characters who let you down at 16 and turn into the ones you take shots of Jack with on Christmas. The ones who understand relationships, and settling into new homes, and starting new lives. The ones who know that history and new beginnings are meant to pile onto each other. 

The ace looks like my ability to love, deeply and without judgement. It looks like not being afraid to express my love. It looks like not being intimated by rejection. It runs through my veins with the awareness that who I am, my uniqueness and indepdendence, isn’t compromised if I love more or if I love less. I’m rooted. 

The ace looks like a career that I drive and that doesn’t drive me. Journals full of words that mean something to me. Essays published, essays drafted, outlines for a book that 2018 will hopefully see picked up. 

The ace looks like a reflection in the mirror that I learned to love. A body I learned to start treating well, to prioritize feeding even when the anxiety was at its worst. It looks like a mind that doesn’t scare me anymore when I sit down to explore it once a week. 

The deeper I got into the year, the more anchored I became. The deeper I got into the year, the less bullshit I took. The shift didn't come from a self-help book, a podcast, or even from weekly therapy sessions. The shift came from sitting with myself and realizing that my biggest superpower was that I could. I'm not afraid to get to know myself. 

2018, I ask of you what I’ve asked of every year since 2014 — don't only give me moments of pure happiness, give me the tools to learn to be happy even in the midst of all the upheaval. Give me 365 days of learning to live and love to the best of my ability, so that there's nothing left to read between the lines.