This time last year, I was an anxious mess constantly wondering what I was going to do with my life and what I wanted to be when I grew up. I knew my job wasn’t fulfilling me, but I’d spent so long working to get to where I was with the company I wanted to work for so badly, I was scared to admit it. I didn’t think I was good enough to do anything about it, either.

I was constantly sick. I was stuck in a relationship that left me crying more often than not, one that made me always question my worth and made me make up some pretty creative excuses for why I was being treated the way I was. I wasn’t myself and I wasn’t as happy as I could be, and the worst part was that I thought that was what I deserved.

Finally, I’d had enough. I ripped off the Band-Aid, made the changes I needed to, and started fresh.

Now, I know I’m on the right path. I’m in a city that has the culture and excitement I crave. I’m in a graduate program that reminds me every day of how smart and capable I am and helps me to gain the skills I need to succeed in the (very) ambitious goals I have set for myself. I’m even considering law school! In the new year I’ll start a job that allows me to help people who need it, not just want it.

I’m being treated with respect, kindness, and consideration. My anxiety levels have dropped, and I have much better coping mechanisms for when it acts up than I did before. My health has gotten better, and I feel more like myself again. I got to spend over 4 months at home with the best family ever, and I’ve gotten better at practicing self care to help me when I’m homesick or overwhelmed. I realized that even though I finally know how it feels to be treated well by someone, the most important relationship I’ll ever have is the one I have with myself and I need to be nicer to myself first.

I had a lot of friendships run their course this year, and that’s okay. I have set boundaries, and my space for negativity has gotten very small. I don’t let people drain me and I especially don’t let people treat me like I don’t matter. I learned to put myself first, and I have slowly accepted that I do deserve happiness and the best opportunities the world can offer me. I refuse to force anyone to be in my life if they don’t want to, or make me feel like I’m an option to them. I deserve better than that.

I didn’t achieve all of the goals and things I had planned to do this year, but I’m okay with that. I achieved the most important goal I had – valuing myself. The rest will follow.

2018 has been a huge year of transition for me. I ended friendships I thought I wanted to last forever and I walked away from people and things that were no longer bringing me positivity. I found that the thing bringing me the most sense of purpose was Junior League, so I decided that I needed to find a graduate program that aligned with the things I was doing there, and I did. I made new friends, I strengthened relationships, and I pushed myself outside my comfort zone. I tried new things, and I even saw baby sea turtles hatch! It’s had its ups and downs but I know that in the new year, it will just keep getting better. For the first time in a long time, I’m excited about the year ahead and have more hope and faith than I’ve had in awhile.

2019, let’s go.

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