Last week, a friend of mine posted a meme that said “2018 is almost over and all I can say is what the F*** was that?”
I double tapped the photo.
Scrolling through my IG feed, I saw lots of quotes about hardship, timehops of the “good ol’ days,” and tales of failed tinder dates.
Double tap. Double tap. Share. Double Tap.
The truth is, in 2018 I doubled my income. I moved into a better home. I traveled out of the country. I celebrated 21 years of friendship with my best friend. I met the man of my dreams. I married the man of my dreams.
You might say, this was my year.
What does that even mean? When I was younger, I dreamed of running my own business, traveling the world, going to fancy parties, donating millions of dollars to nonprofits… I remember telling myself “this is my year.” – and then 365 days later I would say, “Ok, that sucked, but this year is REALLY my year.” But after several especially heart breaking years of job loss, unexpected pregnancy, cancer, death, and divorce… I stopped saying it – because I knew the next year would likely bring more change, and pain, and loss.
And I was never wrong.
But it’s just not in me to give up. When I thought I couldn’t do it anymore, I searched deep and found one tiny ounce of hope left and started saying something different.
You are strong. You are capable. You are enough. The struggles you faced, the things that felt like they would break you.. those were opportunities.
You see, I learned something incredible… every hardship comes with a gift, if you choose to accept it. And these gifts… they’re better than any “good year” can bring. They give life profound depth, and give you strength and freedom. And with these, you can accomplish literally anything.
“No man is more unhappy than he who never faces adversity. For he is not permitted to prove himself.”
Was 2018 my year? It probably sounds like it, and truth be told, I’m happier than I’ve ever been. Everything I set out to do, I accomplished. Everything I lost in previous years was recovered x10. But it was also riddled with the tragic loss of a friend, heart-breaking parenting (if you’re a mom you understand), health & family issues, relationship challenges, etc.
The struggles you faced in 2018 were not setbacks. You are not a victim, and you certainly aren’t alone, even when it feels like it.
If you started last year expecting great things, and found yourself disappointed – your expectations weren’t wrong. The year that broke you was the year full of life’s greatest opportunities. When all that doesn’t serve you is stripped away, you’re left with the strongest, most beautiful version of yourself.
This isn’t your year, this is your life. Embrace all of it fully, because it truly is all good.
“We have two lives, and the second begins when we realize we only have one.”