2016 has been a year of challenge - of HEARTBREAK, of change, of growth, of enlightenment, and ultimately - of WHOLENESS.
I started 2016 with a heart full of hope. A recent engagement, a new job, a beautiful home, talk of a family, etc. All the things in life that I thought that I wanted.
And at the end of 2016, I still have a heart full of hope, but of a different kind - knowing that I gave all of that up (and I would do it again in a heartbeat) to become the person that I am right now.
This year will not only be remembered by the breakdown of my relationship with my partner of over 5 & 1/2 years, nor by the sudden and harsh disconnect from my mother - but will be remembered by how 2016 changed me.
2016 defined me in ways I feel unable to truly explain - ways that I feel have reshaped me entirely. Molded me. Allowed me to see and focus on my value, my worth, my relationships, my future.
2016 has taught me patience, courage, understanding, willpower, boundaries, tolerance, balance, growth, and self-respect. Those and a million other things. And I am still learning.
2016 has shown me my weaknesses and my strengths. It has shown me, trial after trial, that I am strong enough - not only to persevere, but to learn to be a better, more well-rounded, more compassionate, deeper-loving, genuine person.
So, to 2016 - thank you for teaching me what it is to feel the shipwreck, and to have the courage, determination, will, passion, and ability to move forward. To learn, lean into the changes that come, and take steps towards a better, healthier (mentally and physically), more complete and self-aware "me."
Letting go will generate a sense of emptiness at the beginning, one that can be difficult to live with. Nevertheless, strength resides in our capability to face this emptiness and transform it into wholeness. To overcome fears of doubt and unfamiliarity.
And so, 2016, I'm so incredibly ready to let you go.
I know I am strong because I’m ready to know what lies outside my comfort zone. I’m ready for freedom and I’m riding this roller coaster with an open heart and mind.
2017: The year of Paula. Bring it on!