2017: Suicide. Homelessness. Cancer. Death. Depression. Determination. Happiness.
The year everything fell apart was the year everything came together. I began the year at my highest point. I started a blog and began backpacking the world, feeling like I was finally figuring things out. Come February and life as I knew it shattered. One of my closest friends committed suicide. I was evicted and became homeless. I was unemployed. My brother fell ill. I found out a close family member had been hiding cancer from me. My cousin died in a motorcycle accident. I have never been so consumed by pain, desperation, or emptiness.
Sudden tragic loss breaks your heart in a way that exposes your soul. There's an eerie sense of clarity as the static noise of everything around you stops and your world crumbles. Reason, expectations, rules, no longer matter. But when the dust settles and you hit bottom, magic happens. I didn't even know it, but it was during my darkest hour that I became my most powerful self. It may sound strange, but I'm forever grateful for the tragedy that struck in 2017.
At rock bottom, when everything was quiet, I felt a little spark of purpose. I felt like I needed to avenge the darkness that had struck in so many areas of my life. I couldn't live with myself if I just let these things happen in vain. With the noise of the world completely tuned out, I began doing what mattered: anything that was on my heart that could potentially change my life or the world around me. No matter how little sense it made. I began doing things out of desperation, but slowly and then suddenly the desperation turned to gratefulness, the pain to love.
Let me be honest, I wasn't sure if anything I was doing was meaningful or worthwhile. I was blindly trusting in who I was. But now I realize that was the magic. And now here we are, heading into 2018, and I've never been more grateful in my entire life. I know it's cheesy, but my heart is so full it hurts. Each seemingly senseless decision I made had a purpose. Here are a couple examples. I moved to upstate New York, not knowing that the bus I had been searching for for months was for sale right down the street. I went to Iceland, not knowing that I would leave with three incredible business partners to travel the world with. I wrote a mushy blog post about losing a friend to suicide, not knowing it would go viral, growing my blog in ways I never thought possible. I answered a random craigslist job listing, not knowing it would catapult me into my own practice. I detoured back to Massachusetts to connect with friends before making my journey down south, not knowing I'd meet a boy.
What I'm trying to say is, sometimes there isn't a clear reason why bad things happen. Silver linings don't exist. But you do. And that's why you're here. You're the reason it's going to get better. Trust the process, and trust your power. Do what feels right, even if it doesn't make sense. There is so much more at work than you can see. Let love and gratitude guide you, and you'll find yourself in a world more beautiful than you ever imagined.
Cheers to 2018.
All my love,
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." - Ralph Waldo Emerson