This Year Has Been Hard, But I’m Grateful For What It’s Given Me

2020 has been one of the worst years of my life, but it has also been one of the best years.

My mom died this year and I have spent the last nine months grieving during a global pandemic, which has been pretty awful.

Because of said pandemic, we were unable to have a real funeral for my mom. We hoped to have a larger memorial service for her birthday in January, but that’s out the window now, too.

There has been a lot of pain, sadness, and grief during this year of “firsts.”

But there has also been a lot of joy, laughter, and love.

I moved back home closer to family this year and got to spend every holiday and birthday with them, even my mom before she passed.

My husband and I bought a beautiful new house and have made it our home.

I have continued to grow this amazing community and my words have reached people all over the world. (Thank you all for your help with that!)

My writing has led me to some pretty amazing people and opportunities for which I will always be grateful.

My book has done pretty well this year and I’m just days away from starting to write the next one.

And most importantly, I finally feel ready to start living my life again.

It has been such a long time since I actually lived my life. And although I’ll be doing it without the very person who gave it to me, this year I have learned the importance of living in the now because right now, this very moment, is all we really have. We can’t live in the past and we don’t exist yet in the future. We must live in the now.

I have lost so much this year and yet, I am the most grateful I’ve ever been.

Not in spite of what I’ve lost.

Not in spite of what I’ve been through.

But because of it.

This hardship is testing you and it’s trying to break you, but you won’t let it win. Because you are strong. Because you are resilient. And because you know that as hard and messed up as life can be, it’s also so incredibly beautiful.

It’s awful, but it’s also magnificent.

It’s challenging, but it’s also rewarding.

It’s heartbreaking, but it’s also fulfilling.

It’s the worst and the best at the same damn time.

Just like 2020 has been for me, for a lot of us.

When the clock strikes midnight and the year turns to 2021, nothing about your circumstances will change, but your perspective can.

You have the power to change it. I did.

Imagine what you will find if you refuse to only see what you’ve lost.

Seek the joy and the beauty, the light and the love.

It’s there.

You just have to look for it.

And some days, you have to look really, really hard.

This year has been hard, but I’m grateful for what it’s given me.

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