Oh my goodness, its the most amazing feeling isn’t it?!? That feeling like you’re walking on the clouds. You walk around with a huge smile on your face for no reason at all. Your heart gets all warm and fuzzy. The colors of the world seem so much brighter. There is this new found appreciation for everything in life. It’s the more wonderful then Christmas time!

2018 was anything but easy. It’s thrown some really big curve balls my way. Some days I really just wanted to throw in the towel. There were days that I wanted to stomp my feet like a toddler and go back to bed. If I’m being completely honest, there were more days that I thought I was going to lose my mind and couldn’t handle one more thing, then there were days that were amazing.

Then it happened. Out of the blue, yet it had been right in front of my face for so long. I fell head over heels. I didn’t realize it at first and felt a little silly even, but then I realized how amazing it was. I had finally been able to look at all the imperfections, throw logic out the window and just fall. I finally fell in love with myself!

The entire year was about continuing to be brave, work on myself and dig deeper then I ever have before, to achieve growth and understanding. I hope to not ever have to redo another year like this past one, but I have learned so much. I just sat down and reread my reflection post from January 2017. Oh that sweet girl had no idea! No idea the heart ache and pain that was still coming her way. Despite ending a very important friendship, that no longer aligned with where I was headed, and was technically very toxic, more car issues than any one person should deal with in a decade, let alone a year, chaos of attempting to date again (glad I got that crap out of my system), and many other ordinary problems; I survived.

One of my biggest struggles this year was feeling like I was “enough”. After so many years of abuse, I still had the linger thoughts in my head. Truth be told, the more exhausted I was from life, the easier it was to hear those words and start feeling that way. These feelings led to some pretty harsh insecurities, that would make anyone run away, yet people stayed and gave me the grace I needed to work through situations. I worked on this harder and harder as the year progressed. I wanted more then anything to be able to look in the mirror and not only feel like I was enough, but believe it.

I’m not a “words of affirmation” person. In fact I only scored 3 out of 12 on the Five Love Languages Quiz. However, I have a very important friend who has continued to tell me he’s proud of me, or give me other words of encouragement/affirmation all year. At first it made me incredibly uncomfortable. Over time, I learned to accept them, and eventually I realized it was one of the key factors in seeing myself in a different way, leading me down the path to finally feeling like I’m enough.

There are days that I don’t believe it, and I am sure there will continue to be more days when I have to force myself to believe that I am enough; however, overall there has been much progress made on this hurdle. As I was running the other day on the boredomill, I felt the wave of accomplishment sweep over me. I had replayed some of the key events, conversations, etc that had happened over the past year. I could see it. I could see the progress I had made. At the beginning of the year I felt like I needed to ‘sell’ myself. I was that beat up toy on the shelf that someone had to be convinced to buy. Now, though I don’t feel like the shiniest toy on the shelf, I realize I’m the one that doesn’t need a flashy commercial or advertisment or the pep talk to convince someone. Sitting there on the shelf, if you take the time to look closely enough my value shines brightly. And even more importantly I realized that only the people that are willing to see it on their own deserve the opportunity to be close to me.

Although I’d be happy watch the teeth get knocked out of 2018, I’m choosing to remember it not for the bad things, but for the fact that I continuted to be brave and had major growth. I fell in love…with myself. Just like any new relationship, I can not wait to see what 2019 brings to me, with this new found acceptance of who I am and love for myself. This folks is bound to be the best relationship of my life…as it should have been all along.