Why I’m Grateful For Everything I Learned During The Ups And Downs Of 2017

girl holding a sparkler backlit
Jamie Street

I never used to think much of the “New Year.” But as I get older, I love the idea more and more. What better way to reflect on the past 12 months, and to look forward to the future. To recognize what went right, and what went wrong. New Years are significant. They are meaningful.

2017 went by in an instant. It brought so much joy, excitement, sadness, and most of all, memories. I wish I could say that everyone who came with me to 2017 left. But that’s not the case. I’ve lost people I thought were significant. Some may no longer be here on the earth. Others, our relationships have ended. I’ve outgrown people.

And that’s okay.

2017 has taught me that relationships and people are fleeting. Some people aren’t meant to stay in your life. You can’t chase people who aren’t meant to stay. And sometimes you see people’s true colors. But nothing happens in vain. It’s all part of the big picture. I can see it even now. Why some people aren’t meant to stay. Be thankful for the part they played in your life, but let them go.

Let go of what’s not supposed to happen. I think that has been the greatest lesson of 2017. Be open to experiences, but also don’t hold on to the past. Live, learn, let go. Don’t let anything hold you down, and don’t be dragged down by negativity. It’s hard to let go of things we think we want, but sometimes it’s the very thing we must do.

Take chances. Take lots of them. You won’t regret it.

Even if it doesn’t work out, at least you tried. You can say you gave your all, put forth effort, and it didn’t work out. There’s no shame or regret in that. Send that message. Tell that person why they hurt your feelings. Apologize for doing the wrong thing. Be blunt, open, and honest. Follow your heart.

The best thing about 2017 has been all the people who have showed up in my life. When you open yourself up to meeting new people, life surprises you. So many people in my life are new, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Making new friends isn’t a bad thing. With each stage of life, we grow. We outgrow some friendships and new ones follow us in our new stage of life.

2017 has been good to me. It’s taught me to make the best of every situation, and always to be my authentic self. I couldn’t ask for more. With that said, going forward, I am thankful for everything that happened in 2017. Some good, some bad, but continuous growth.

I expect the same in the next year. TC mark

Kristin Rattigan

27. Chicago. I prefer kids to adults 99% of the time.

To love yourself should be no quiet affair, but a loud uprising.

“Never forget,
you are more powerful
than you are damaged
and you will rise
from any abyss
they drown you in.”

— Nikita Gill, Your Heart Is The Sea

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