“In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.”
– Francis Bacon
First of all, Happy New Year! We are officially 8 days into 2019. So far, I’ve been sick for all 8 days. Due to the fact that I haven’t been able to breathe properly in two weeks, my new year has admittedly gotten off to a slower start.
I’m usually one of those people who start the new year off with a bang. New planner, new devotional, new routines,
All this to say, I’m a little behind
So in the spirit of finally starting my year properly (according to my type A personality), I have decided this year to choose a word.
I’m honestly not the type of person to jump on the giant bandwagons. In reality, the more popular something is, the more I distant myself from it. However, for the season I’m currently in, choosing a word made more sense then resolutions this time around the sun.
Therefore, my word for 2019 is SHINE.
Now let’s get into the why.
The last two years have been incredibly difficult for both me and my family. In 2017 and 2018 we lost the two people in our family that acted as our foundation, our pillars of strength, our unconditional loving guides. That alone has completely turned everything upside down for myself and my loved ones. It has been a devastating loss that I haven’t been able to fully process or sift through. I think grief looks different for everyone. I think there is no time table and no one way to deal with it. There isn’t one path to take in learning how to recover or how to continue on in this life with
This is a heavy topic. Not generally one featured in typical “new years” posts but this is where my new year is beginning. This is authentically where I stand.
Besides these two tragedies, at the beginning of
2017 and 2018 were about survival.
I feel very deeply and am most dominantly ruled by my heart. I consider myself a vibrant, passionate, fun, positive, loving, charismatic person. But when I went into survival mode, those things I admire about myself slowly faded away one by one. It’s just the truth.
I found myself spending a lot of 2018 being paralyzed by choice. I could go anywhere, do anything, be anyone. I could start over. I could be someone different. But in my heart of hearts, I knew that wasn’t right. I knew that even though I want to live all over the world, even though I have big dreams, I couldn’t leave this chapter in California yet. I knew that I wouldn’t be chasing my dreams, I’d be running away from the nightmare I felt I was in. So the alternative to running away was being brave and figuring out how to survive where God had placed me.
Some days my old self would peek through, eager to return. Some days I couldn’t get out of bed. Most days life felt, I felt, dulled down. Existing just as a means to an end, just to survive, just to put one foot in front of the other. But slowly (very slowly) but (thankfully) surely, piece by piece, I’ve put myself back together and I am ready to SHINE.
I have felt dull and foggy for too long. This year, I vow to SHINE. I vow to put myself and my joy first. I lost a lot of confidence this last year but this is the year I get it back. This is the year I offer my best self to my family, my friends, and myself. I am going to be unapologetically me.
I have survived the worst of it. I’m very proud of myself for doing so. I learned so much in 2018 and I’m ready to take all of it into 2019. It’s time to stop simply surviving but genuinely thriving. I’m not going to compromise my standards or my happiness. I’m ready to not focus on the fact that people I love aren’t physically here with me but instead to focus on taking them with me into my future, still letting them guiding me as they always have.
2017 and 2018 were painful and dark. 2019 is the year of light. It’s the year I SHINE. I recognize that I couldn’t have had one without the other. Light does not exist without darkness. To simply sum it up, “In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.” I know that a piece of the darkness of the last couple of years is going to come with me. That’s how grief works. But I will SHINE brighter because of it.