I came out of 2016 thinking that it was a tough one. I came out of it searching for truth. I came out of it searching for worth. I came out of it searching for purpose. I came out of it searching for a place to step off the rollercoaster of peaks and valleys. This was a year of so many peaks, which were always met by valleys.
One of the things I felt like I lost in 2016 was my voice. I was silent a lot. I was numb a lot. I was lost a lot. And part of all of that was a fear of whispering to even those I loved the most that I wasn’t “perfect.” I thought that speaking that word would somehow strip away my fight, my determination, my hope. I thought that somehow speaking that reality would strip me of all the things I loved about me. But one of the strangest things in life is that it seems to speak the words you can’t for you and I realized as my family and friends reached out to say “me either,” that I am still everything I want to be. That very mixture of words of “imperfect” and “none of us are” has allowed me to realize once again that it is okay to change. It is okay to let down your armor and let others protect you, it is okay to hold onto your dreams and let others fall away, it is okay to chase after wings and plant roots.
It is crazy how we hold ourselves to standards that we allow no others to hold themselves to. Somehow we are supposed to always be okay, while we tell those leaning on us that it is okay to not be okay. Somehow we are supposed to be the ones who never cry, while telling those we catch that tears are a sign of letting go and strength. Somehow we are supposed to know how it all will work out, while telling others to trust in the process. Somehow our brokenness is ugly, while we truly see beauty in those scars left on those we love. Somehow we are hiding, while we are screaming for truth. Somehow we have grace for everyone else and leave none for ourselves.
So as 2017 gets scratched off of the calendar, day by day by day, it is time I found my voice. It is time I advocated, I shared, I inspired. Most new years, I put a lot of stock in what the year will bring. I set out these goals of finding this, and changing that. This year, the only thing I really want to say when that last date is scratched off is that I was brave and I fought to be light in your darkness, in my darkness, and in both of our lights. The world doesn’t need more diets, more budgets, more exercise, the world needs more of us giving ourselves and those around us grace. More of us choosing love. The rest will follow.