I’m surprised more than anything that this has happened so quickly. Five years ago I was 16, I’m pretty sure I had braces and thick black square glasses, I didn’t have a phone or a plan for any of this, just a camera and the drive to make something tangible. 

I still write and write often, and even if not all of it ends up on here, these essays that mark the passage of time are something that I know I will cherish. A small little window into the inner workings of my mind, and all of the lessons and all of the changes that have happened since my eleventh year of high school. 

If the next five years bears any resemblance to the last I know that I have not got a clue what is in store for me. That I can plan and hope and prepare, but this life is not predictable and at any moment there could be a new bend in the road. For now I am happy being here and soaking up all the lessons and experiences I can while in this moment. 

I honestly feel like somehow this marks a new chapter with these five years done and gone. Maybe it’s all of the change and new strides I’ve taken in the couple months of this year alone, but it feels a bit like a new beginning. And in the grand scheme of things, in building this life, there will be hard lessons learned in these next five years too, but I do know that the last five years has prepared in me someone who is fully capable of tackling whatever should come my way. 


Oh the things you will do

One of the most exhilarating things about growing older is doing things you know would have scared you to death when you were younger. Or 2 years ago. Or 3 months ago. 

Not only knowing that you CAN do them but that you're actually pretty freaking capable of doing them. And that you're actually that much closer to being a real freaking adult. 

This semester has been one of so many firsts. One of so many moments where I decided I must go on despite my fears. 

For someone who's struggled with anxiety and depression doing even small things like getting out of bed and eating and showing up makes the things that are really only small things to other people like going to the school gym or doing that presentation or going to that interview, seem like really big accomplishments. And to know that you're capable of not only getting up, eating and showing up, but all these other things too? Priceless. To know that you are capable of so much more than your little mind as it lays through mornings of doubts and of deep lows could ever comprehend, is just so comforting. 

That someone who is frozen in fear and enveloped in the thoughts of all she cannot do, can in fact do a whole freaking whack-load of amazing and exhilarating things? That's pretty cool. That's almost adult-like there my friends. 

And sometimes you surprise yourself with fearlessness and sometimes you must continue on despite your fear. However, it doesn't ever diminish what little you did accomplish because the difference is you could not do that yesterday. So that moment of exhilaration and of completion and satisfaction is so so worth a little celebrating. 

So let's celebrate. Celebrate small accomplishments, fearlessness, courage in the face of fear and the art of becoming who we're supposed to be. Because that's all growing older really is, isn't it? 



And then I just need a hug
Not so you can hold me together,
I'm pretty good at that myself now
Not so I can talk about it,
I was never really good at talking
But to tell you
In a shaky embrace,

that my heart's bleeding.

And it was at that moment,
Where thoughts of time & tomorrow
flickered excitedly behind closed lids
And any chance of rest was vainly sought.

Life was good.


17 things for

2. My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness.  | Maya Angelou

3. Never be afraid to raise your voice for honest and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world would do this, it would change the Earth.  | William Faulkner

4. No, is a full sentence.

5. You shouldn't try to stop everything from happening. Sometimes you're supposed to feel awkward. Sometimes you're supposed to be vulnerable in front of people. Sometimes it's necessary because it's all part of you getting to the next part of yourself, the next day.  | Cecelia Ahem

6. When the world and your mind tells you to settle, you stand up an yell "I am worth more than a timeline!" Because beauty is found in every season, and one does not demand the flowers to bloom until spring has begun...Wait and grow, the sun will come in due time, and you will bloom and show the world your worth.  | T.B. LaBerge

7. If it is both terrifying and amazing then you should definitely pursue it.  | erada

8. Hardships often prepare ordinary people, for an extraordinary destiny...  | C.S. Lewis

9. Sometimes it's okay if the only thing you did today was breathe.

10. It is not easy...to wait. Waiting is what the hunter does, and the poet and the slugger. He waits for the moment of inevitability and fate and then he swings, or shoots, or takes up the pen to put down a line. They don't teach us to wait in America; they teach us to grab. But waiting is what we do when we are looking for something beautiful, when we are looking for an end to our sorrow. Nothing is infinite in life, not even sorrow.  | Cary Tennis

11. You won't do it at the right time. You'll be late. You'll be early. You'll get re-routed. You'll get delayed. You'll change your mind. You'll change your heart. It's not going to turn out the way you thought it would. It will be better.  | Kate Moller

12. Exist on your own terms.

13. Accept yourself. Love yourself just as you are. Your finest work, your best movements, your joy, peace, and healing come when you love yourself. You give a great gift to the world when you do that. You give others permission to do the same: to love themselves. Revel in self love. Roll in it. Bask in it, as you would the sunshine.  | Melodie Beattie

14. You are entirely up to you.

15. Sometimes, I need only to stand wherever I am to be blessed.  | Mary Oliver

16. Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.  | C.S. Lewis

17. Write it in your heart that everyday is the best day of the year.

*  *  *

Remembering these things as we walk across the threshold of the old year and welcome in the new -- here is to 2017 and all that it will bring