Goodbye 2016

Dear 2016,

It’s that time of year again, where I say goodbye to you and say hello to 2017. You’ve been amazing, disastrous, and down right annoying at times. But I get it, life is complicated. Maybe 2017 can bring us back on track. Curb the insanity?

I celebrated 2016 in a casino, a semi drunken mess coming down with the stomach bug. Couldn’t say it was the proudest moment of my life, nor did I enjoy the next few days very well, but I ended out my time in Australia. I said goodbye to wonderful friends and I boarded a plane back home to New York. Dead of winter. But thank you 2016, for having a relatively calm winter to welcome me home.

I was terrified to set foot back in New York. A year on the other side of the world? There were many experiences and mistakes up my sleeve. I was a brand new person and I wondered how that would reflect coming back to people who had a preconceived idea of me.

The first few months were rough. Being thrown back into an education I was itching to complete, moving back home after galavanting on my own, and having to figure out a job often left me feeling down, weak, and unsure of why I left in the first place. I left New York ( Jan 2015) because I was running away from reality. I was searching for something (that I found!), but I came home in the same dead end position, just a new outlook.

Suddenly, I found an amazing family to babysit for, my sister took a chance on me and helped me get a job at her employement, and I already had a few trips planned. I managed to survive the Chicago winds and conquer Toronto, not once but twice! But those weren’t the major successes of the year.

I conquered everything on my goals list. The first time in my entire life that I wrote down goals and accomplished every single one. The main being: I graduated college, I started creating my self-mentoring program, and I started the self-publishing process. But most importantly, I learned to love myself and realized all the work I did in Australia paid off and had to be implemented. While I was happy there, I didn’t realize how much happier I could be coming back to my hometown, implementing my new life skills with friends and family, and learning that I love my home far more than I ever had.

But then 2016, you had to go and ruin things. My personal life is great. But life elsewhere? The presidential election? President Elect? All the shootings? All the incredible people who have passed away? There is so much tragedy in 2016. Tragedy that I know will continue to live on for at least the next four years if something doesn’t rein in the madness.

You’ve taken an incredible, warm-loving President and an even more powerful presidential candidate (Bernie Sanders) and have given us President-Elect Trump. What the hell were you thinking? Please, go fix yourself. Analyze your wrongs.

However, because of all the tragedies, many Americans have come back stronger, more empowered and are ready to fight back. We are awakened by the horrors that have been happening but we’ve always casually glanced over. The beast has been ignited and we won’t be silent any longer. I’ve never been more proud to be a progressive millennial liberal. People try and tear that name apart, but I’ll continue to wear it with pride. 2016 you cannot take that away from me. President-Elect nor can you.

All in all, 2016 you’ve been bright and prosperous to me. You’ve got me planning a move again, a brand new adventure with one of my closest friends. You’re setting up my new chapter in 2017. And I’m not sorry that 2017 will get to take credit for my book being published, will help continue my self-mentoring program, will bring me to Disney hopefully multiple times, and will leave me basking in the sunshine, once again. Sorry New York, the universe apparently understands that I can only do winters for a certain amount of time.

So thank you, 2016 for all you’ve done. And shame on you for all you’ve done. You’re coming to a close and I know many people are more than eager to see you leave. But despite it all, you’ll still remain bright.

So let’s raise a glass to the positives that 2017 can bring and power through the tragedies and disappointments with love, compassionate, and open arms.

Self-Care Tip

Write a goodbye 2016 and hello 2017 letter, choose to keep it to yourself or share with others. I started this in 2013. To me, it’s very therapeutic. It forces you to sit down and reflect on the year you just lived. 12 months can be a lot of time and maybe you’ve forgotten wins and losses of yours. By writing a goodbye and then welcoming the new year, often times goals and passions can come to surface. Maybe not everything was accomplished in 2016 and that’s okay. Completely okay. Maybe 2017 will be better or maybe it isn’t meant to be. But I find writing them so close together, my brain is already in the process of thinking about what I want to accomplish. Since completing these, each year my goals are easier to commit to and accomplish. Why not give it a try?

Chelsea Lauren

Chelsea Lauren is addicted to drinking coffee, writing in cafes, and walking the beach. A New York native, she recently moved to Melbourne, FL and found having conversations with her character’s on the beach is the perfect cure to writer’s block. To learn more about her, check out “About Me.” Her debut novel, Underneath the Whiskey, is now available on Amazon.

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