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Twentyfourteen, I don’t even know how it’s possible, but you’ve been so so wonderful already. I know i’m 16 days late in writing this; i’ve never quite known how to find the words. But, 2014, here I am. I don’t know if it’s the way tears were stinging my eyes when that clock struck midnight, the way I rang in the new year with some of my oldest friends & family, or just the way you look: promising, hopeful, like opening the pages of a new library book. You are truly wonderful, and I give praise to your light. I don’t know why it’s taken me this long, but I’m really content with the way this year has been playing out. No, it isn’t perfect, and no, still not much has changed.  Something inside of me just feels… really different. Like, everything i’ve gone through has built me up to the beaten, but stronger person I am today. And I’m okay with it. Truthfully, it’s taken a lot of self-courage, acceptance, and alone time to figure stuff out. But I’m admitting things to myself (and to others) that I never before thought I could, and rather than hating myself for it, I’m accepting it, and slowly learning to move on. I’m trying to love and accept things the way they are, and look at life from a brighter lens. Instead of focusing on what i’ve lost, trying to see the good that can come out of it. The blessings and opportunities are endless. I’m laughing again. I’ve been inspired, constantly. I’ve been acting pretty (responsibly, of course) spontaneous. I’m spending more time with people, people I love & who (oddly enough, I think) love me. I’m genuinely okay. I’m not waiting around anymore for life to start; I’m making it happen day by day.

2014, already you’ve been teaching me a lot about myself. It’s still hard to look at the past 6 months and see who I was and where I was going, but I can honestly say things happened right when they needed to. Because even though I’m 21, graduating in 5 months, and still have yet to figure out what the heck else i’m doing with my life after college, I’m not all that worried. “Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” In fact, I’m ecstatic about the future. I’m excited to see where the next few months will take me. I’ve got my goals set and my promises made and that’s that; where God leads me from this point on I’ll just have to trust & wait & see. He’s given and blessed me with so much already, I can only stop and give Him praise for everything. The good and the bad, the personal goals made, the challenges still ahead. I am thankful for all of it.

It doesn’t take a perfect day for me to count my blessings and realize. I’ve been writing my daily prayers & gratitudes, but they aren’t only on the good days. This year, I’m trying to view the positivity in everything, adopt a new ‘love yourself’ mentality, and see how that new outlook can further shape my life and affect those around me. I used to be so afraid of holding my own, holding myself.  I thought I needed everybody,  all of their approvals. I wasn’t living for myself: I was living in a shadow, an ephemeral idea of who I was that thrived on the approval of others. Well, enough of that. Time to hold myself high and humble, and instead work on maintaining the most important relationship(s) I’ll ever have, with myself and my Creator. That’s what this year is all about.

– Allyson

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