so here we are.

2016. What a mess, right? 2016 was not my year, but then again, was it anyones year? It feels like the world was knocked slightly off its axis with all that went down. Trump was elected president, it feels like everyday another celebrity has died, terrorist attacks all over, Aleppo, the list of bad news continues and feels never ending.

In conjunction with all that went down in the world, this year, the past semester in particular, has been the roughest part of my life so far. My anxiety and stress was at an all time high and I've had too many sleepless nights, phone calls to people with tears in my eyes, and full blown breakdowns than I'd like to admit. I felt incapable of the tiniest of things, I hated myself for any and every little mistake, I felt inferior and like I didn't belong or deserve to be where I was, I was barely keeping my head above water. I have without a doubt placed unrealistic expectations on myself and have ruthlessly beaten myself up anytime I fell short of these expectations, which naturally was about 99.99% of the time. And so with all of this, I started to give up– and I think that was the best thing I could have done. While my GPA this semester will probably beg to differ (sorry dad), giving up and giving in allowed me to redefine what was important and allowed me to focus on the things that make me feel happy.

I was so stressed and tired trying to stop myself from crumbling that I ended up letting myself do just that– I crumbled, I fell apart.

And when I fell apart I learned to stop caring, and this is when the magic started to happen. I have always felt a need to be in control, to know what's coming and for everything to follow the script I've made up in my head. Unfortunately for me, life doesn't give a shit about what you want it to do and learning to not care, to relinquish some control, or really understand that I wasn't in control in the first place, made handling all the curveballs a lot easier. I haven't reached the total "hippie-dippy", go with the flow, que sera sera level of peace yet, and I don't anticipate that I ever will, but now I'm aware that it exists and I know that things have a way of working out in the end.

While 2016 is a year that I'm ready to move on from, plenty of good things happened. I finished my first year of college, formed a solid group of friends, had the best internship with the best people, loved someone, cooked more, and I think this is the year that I fully realized how important it is to take care of myself, like

really

take care of myself.

I'm hoping that 2017 brings a rush of good feelings, wonderful news, and more peace and happiness. And if it doesn't, I'm trusting that I'll be able to find some good among the bad, and if I can't find it, then I'll create it.

Dear 2017, please be gentle and i'm sure we'll get along just fine.