A Year of Struggle, a Year of Change (goodbye 2016, I still don’t know what to think of you)

This morning I got to experience my final surprise for 2016: after six years, my little kitten finally learned how to ‘cat’ properly. By that I mean he surprised me as I was reading in bed with my cup of coffee by plopping a dead bird in my lap. I have been told that this is a cat’s way of saying ‘I love you and I don’t want you to starve, so here’s a treat I worked hard for.’ However, from what I could glean, it appeared he was more interested in using me as his table, rather than convincing me to partake of his simple morsel. Oh Oreo, you little rascal, you are full of surprises, and as much as I appreciate the thought, I sincerely hope your New Year’s Resolution does not involve regularly attempting to feed your human. As yummy as your bird looked, I am perfectly content with pizza.

2016 has been one hell of a year, I think we can all agree on that. We have seen the worst of humanity, as well as the best of it. Our hearts have collectively broken, and we have patched them back together with gold. While it has been a rough year for people in general, I can’t help but be appreciative for my personal experiences this year. I did not accomplish everything I set out to do, and yet I have still come so far. For one thing, I started this blog, which has perhaps had the largest influence on me this past year. Through this little haven I have met some amazing people and discovered a self-confidence that I was worried I would never possess in terms of my work.

For me personally, 2016 has been a year of small adventures and self-discovery. I went to Vegas for the very first time and faced my fear of heights by zip lining down Freemont street.

Made my first epic Bloody Mary (which looked better than it tastes):

We walked for MS in the summer, and in the fall we ran through downtown dressed as banana while being chased by gorillas for a smile foundation:

Spent time in nature with some of the strongest, most empowering women that I know:

Visited Halloweentown:

Tried my hand at rock hunting (a new take on geocaching where people paint rocks and hide them around town):

Tried Pokémon go (and discovered a lot of really cool places on some really long walks):

Discovered kiwi berries and chocolate ice cream tacos (do not eat together):

Finally had my name written in a cool way at Starbucks:

Glow in the dark face paint at a 90’s themed birthday party (do not get on your clothes, but if you do- hit me up, I know the trick to get it out):

Saw Neil DeGrasse Tyson speak, as well as Cavaliers Odysseo and The Nutcracker (my first ballet). Did I mention wine tasting for the first time ever? Oh yes, I am turning into a classy little lady (well, now I can pretend to be, at least):

I had my faith in humanity restored by leaving a note with a question on someone’s car at the mall- and actually receiving an answer!:

Got to dance at my brother’s wedding, to the horror of all attending:

This winter we survived an epic ice storm, rode a Christmas train, sat on a questionable Santa’s lap, and I am now the proud owner of the best Christmas Sweater in the history of life:

I started this blog:

And last, but certainly not least, I dressed up my dog…a lot (don’t worry, Link got treats everytime I made him ham it up for the camera):

So you see, the things you choose to find joy in will color your view on the past year you have lived. For 2016 I will embrace the small joys I encountered on my adventure, though there were many moments that could have crushed my spirit and hopes for the year to come. Tonight I choose happiness and hope.

This New Year’s Eve I want to say thank you to all of you, for embarking on this journey with me. I have some exciting things in store for the coming year, and I hope you will join me as we take these winding paths together. I don’t think I could have done this without the support and encouragement that I have found with you all. Not to mention the fantastic ideas many of your own blogs have inspired in me. Your creative work propels me to strive for the high bar you have set, and with that motivation, I am envigorated with the possibilities.

So tonight I will gladly reflect on a year of constant change. My wish for all of us is a happy, prosperous new year. Tomorrow I will step up and focus on those new goals (ever an optimist, I am a big believer in resolutions), but for tonight I think it is best that I appreciate the road we have traveled. We are all exactly where we are meant to be tonight.

May you all have a safe and happy New Year, my friends. I hope that the excitement of the season finds you well and ready for another beautiful day we have awaiting us tomorrow.

Author: katiebell318

I'm a 28 year old unknown writer who spends her day job working in the courts (rest assured- that place is stranger than any fiction I could write). I love reading, writing, random crafts, baking and hiking. I have a fiance and two fur babies (one kitten and one German Sheppard puppy) who make up my little family. learning to step out of my comfort zone and start checking things off my dusty old bucket list.

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