Happy New Year everyone!
I truly hope 2017 brings you more peace, happiness and opportunities to grow. I was reminded this morning of the quote below that I found on New Year’s Day 2015. It still rings true to me, so I thought it was worth sharing as I reflect on 2016.
Now that 2016 is over, I feel like it is time for me to take an inventory of my year and reflect on the highs and lows, the lessons I learned, the mistakes I made, the challenges I faced and the successes I celebrated.
For me 2016 felt like a roller coaster, with several ups and downs. My job situation presented the most challenges throughout the year and brought me a lot of stress and feelings of disappointment in my career. I was repeatedly feeling drained and uninspired at the end of the day. It was clear to me that I needed a change, but deciding what I wanted that to look like, looking for jobs and interviewing was stressful. Especially when your work environment leaves you feeling unaccomplished at the end of the day, it can be hard to feel motivated. And while I worked very hard to find a better work environment before the end of the year, I was unfortunately let go before my new job came to fruition. I was left feeling like the wind was taken out of my sails and the rug was swept out from under me by people who I thought were on my side.
It was very difficult and upsetting to me, but I knew I needed to regain confidence and momentum in order to end up in the better place I envisioned. I had been feverishly looking for a job for four months, and thankfully my hard work paid off — just two weeks after I was let go, I had a job offer in my hands. It was a whirlwind, and not something I would wish upon anyone. I am glad I started looking for a job when I did, but of course it was difficult to stomach being let go when I was repeatedly trying to keep my confidence high for job interviews. In hindsight, this experience taught me an important lesson about self-worth, showed me how many awesome people I have in my life to support me and made me realize how strong I can be in tough situations.
In hindsight, I see how toxic a bad work environment can be. We spend so many hours of our week at work, and it is truly not worth it to be living the majority of those hours upset about your job. I also see more clearly now how those terrible work days were effecting other parts of my life. Almost instantly, I felt a relief leaving that job behind. I am SO much happier now that that chapter is closed. I have forgiven the people who I felt like let me down, and I can see how my new-found happiness has helped my relationships with friends and family.
While that job situation was the most difficult challenge I faced in 2016, the year had tons of wonderful, positive moments. I had some amazing trips, like my trip to the west coast with my mom and brother and my trip to Jamaica with Will. I also had an important revelation just how meaningful the relationships in my life are when it comes to maintaining a happy life. Below are a few of my favorite photos of 2016.
I feel like there are always goals to be achieved in a New Year, but I think it is also important to make room for those surprises or the ways we might surprise ourself, as Neil Gaiman’s quote mentions. I shared my job struggle because so much of that experience was a surprise to me. And while I thought at the beginning of 2016 that the year would go very differently than it did, I feel now that I can be grateful for the struggles that I faced in 2016 because they made me stronger and taught me important lessons.
I hope some of you can relate to my experience or find it helpful during a time when you are struggling. Life can be rough, and I’m sure it will have its ups and downs. My hope is that with those, we can remain focused on the good things and look for the lessons that come out of our struggles.
Cheers to a lovely New Year!