Wishing you much happiness (and sadness) in 2016

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As a new year begins…

Today’s the day we all sit back and think about the past year; what it’s meant, what it’s done for us as individuals, what it’s brought us (emotionally, financially), and what it’s taken away. We cheer on the coming of a new year in the hopes that it will bring us much love, happiness, and wealth. We eagerly await that clock to hit midnight tonight, to bring us into the future where things are inevitably brighter, better and something to look forward to.

But what if instead we celebrated the past year as fervently as we welcome the next?

As each year comes to a close, I find it harder and harder to pinpoint specifics throughout the year that have influenced me negatively or positively. Everything blends together as a whole, joining up to bring me where I am at this very moment on the last day of the year. I think back on moments, on snippets of time, and I’m not sure if I can classify them as good or bad, they’ve simply changed me in some way. Changed me and brought me to where I am today, and for that I’m grateful. For that I celebrate the year I’ve just had.

For all those moments that made me evolve, made me grow, I celebrate the past year. Sure, not all of them were good, in fact I’d say a majority of them were heart-wrenching and downright difficult, but those were the moments I grew the most, the moments I really became me, the real me. As clichéd as it sounds, it really is the rough patches that make you the strongest.

I chose to move forward, to grow stronger instead of letting it make me weak, letting it beat me down. It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t fun, and I hated the process, but I did it. And I’m better for it.

2015 was an intense adventure from the beginning. I thought I knew what the year would hold, where I was going, who I was going to be with, what my path was going to be; I should have known better than to assume things would turn out the way I thought I’d planned.

And yet, I am so incredibly happy things went the way they did.

In the end, 2015 has been an amazing year, all around. For all the tears, all the emotional pain and growth, there was an equal (if not more) amount of laughter, joy and smiles. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever smiled (a real, genuine smile) as much as I have this past year.

Watching Owen turn into a real, live little boy. Watching him grow up and turn into a little man is always incredible, but as he turned 4 years old this past year it’s become all the more evident just how grown up he actually is… and just how quickly it’s all going. Watching him experience the world, seeing it through his eyes, his comments, and his stories is absolutely amazing. He’s my rock, my sanity when things get crazy, and my home. I am so incredibly lucky I get to be his mother, and I am grateful for that role every single day his smiling and loving face wakes me up in the morning.

New Year’s Eve is a time for reflection, and as I write this on a flight home from a few days away playing with a snowboard on the side of a mountain, I’m reflecting on how truly lucky, blessed, and incredibly happy I am at this very moment. And how this New Year’s Eve will be unlike any I’ve had in the past.

For the first time in years I feel complete as a person. Whole. Assembled the way I was meant to be. The real and fully put together Miranda. It’s quite amazing, actually. Mother, friend, daughter, lover, goofball, writer, editor, driver, occasional adult, weirdo; they’ve all come together as one and I’ve been able to show the world all of me this past year in a way I was never able to before. Incredible.

I won’t be sharing a kiss at midnight (not even with my son as he’ll be snoozing at that point), but it doesn’t matter, because I know I’m loved and cared for, and not just by my parent’s who will be sitting on the couch with me while we watch the ball drop, no doubt. No, by someone else (which is still a shock to me and something I smile about every day); and while we might be on opposite sides of the country at midnight, it won’t matter. I won’t feel alone, and I trust he won’t either.

I think back now on past NYEs and how forced they felt. How I felt I had to be happy, had to be near someone’s side, had to get that kiss at midnight, had to, had to, had to… And in the end, we were no happier for it, neither of us were. It was strained, it was an obligation, not a desire. We were going through the motions. And if it ever came up that we weren’t to be together on NYE, well, it would have been a disaster of disappointment and resentment for sure.

So, to know that I’m content thousands of miles away from someone I’d much rather be beside, knowing that he’s content as well, and we’ll both be silently wishing the other a happy NYE as the clock strikes midnight in our respective time zones makes me realize just how far I’ve come; and what it means to truly be happy. Real life happy. An actual happy. Not a forced happy. Not a pretend smile and fake laugh. No, the real deal.

2015 has made me happy in the end.

Seeing that written makes me laugh a little. If I think back to how 2015 started, I never in a million years would have thought it could end with me feeling that way, with my thanking 2015 for making me smile, for making me happy. Never.

Yet, here I am.

What a wonderful turn of events. We really can’t assume, expect or determine the direction our lives will take at all. We can only control how we as individuals react to situations and handle ourselves, how we are as people.

While I don’t want to go back on what I just said and predict 2016, I do know it won’t all be sunshine, roses and smiles (but then life never truly is, right?). I only hope I can take the strength and happiness I’ve earned in 2015 and pay it forward into the coming year to help me through any heartache I might encounter.

And really, that’s all we can hope to do in life, right?

So, on this New Year’s Eve 2015 I say: Bring your happiness with you into the New Year, but bring your sadness, too. It’s taught you how to be stronger. It’s taught you how to cope. Remember the good and the bad and use that to evolve and develop even more in 2016. Know that the New Year will bring you the happiness and goodness you create and attract. You will be happy if you allow it, so open your arms and welcome it in.

Happy New Year, I raise a glass to 2015 in thanks, and to welcome in 2016 that’s sure to be just as incredible and eye opening.

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~ by drivingmsmiranda on December 31, 2015.

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