Cycles and Growth: the Hidden Blessings of 2016

New Year’s Eve has always held a sort of religious significance for me. Each year is a cycle, beginning with a clean slate on which to project your designs and desires. It will come with its own energies and events, but for those few brief moments at midnight on New Year’s Eve, the universe is full of possibility.
It also brings time to reflect on the year ending, and what we’ve learned along the way. 2016 will not go down as one of my better years. It was far from my worst (hello, 2012!) but it was a pretty spectacular mess. It was replete with drama, tragedy, and disappointment, along with what seemed like an endless string of death and destruction. There were times I wondered how I’d get through it, and times I felt like it would never end.
But through hardship there is growth. It might be an unpopular opinion, but I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason, and 2016 was full of learning opportunities. Whether we took advantage of them or reflected on the messages they sent was up to us—I know there were situations I immediately took as challenges and others that took me months to see the meaning in. But I know that I’m going into 2017 a very different individual than I started.
In 2016, I changed my major and narrowed my focus on what I hope will be a real career. I traveled abroad for the first time, and found that London really was everything I dreamed it would be. I met so many of my heroes and even for a moment, got inside their heads for a glimpse of what makes them so truly brilliant. I finally found my tribe, or maybe they found me (those of you reading know who you are, and I can’t tell you how grateful I am). But most importantly, I learned what really matters to me, and I learned how to fight for it. I found my voice and fought my fears and accomplished things I never really thought would happen–and I know there are more to come.
At the end of 2015, I posted this song. It felt like the perfect expression of optimism and embracing the unknown, and every new year comes with a certain degree of the unknown—we can either fear it, or face it with determination. This year brought us highs and lows. It ended cycles and lives, and gave us new projects, ambitions, and dreams. 2017 will be a new start, the beginning of a cycle. Undoubtedly, it will bring its own trials, its own hardships, but we’ll persevere, and we’ll use our knowledge of the past to propel ourselves into the future. I make a point of cataloging the first song I hear during the New Year, with a certain superstition that it will bring some knowledge of the year to follow. If you’re not at a party, or out with friends, queue up this song and manifest its determination. Think of how far we’ve come, and how to keep going. Keep trying, it’s all gonna be all right—in 2017 we’ll get it right.


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