Dear 2016,

I had so much fun with you this year. Okay, not really. If 2015 was the year of near crippling self-doubt then you were the year of epic failure and outstanding achievement. You were not the worst on record (I still think 2015 takes the cake there), but you came close. You showed me rock bottom, but also allowed me to see that sometimes even when you’re all the way down there, you can look around and see the blessings that surround you and somehow still feel lucky. When there isn’t much left to lose, you get the rare opportunity to see what’s left and thankfully, what was left for me was what truly mattered.

I cried a lot of tears in the last 360 some odd days. I cried for the loss of people I didn’t know: Prince, Carrie Fisher, and Alan Rickman. I cried for the loss of those I did: my beloved violin teacher Laura, Nick’s Aunt Margie, my Uncle Mike, and most recently, Nick’s mom Joyce. I cried at the death of my biggest dream: Cycle Swami. But I also cried when I swam my first panic-free open water swim, when I crossed the finish line at my first triathlon and again when I finished my second one in a faster time than my first. I cried on our first century ride and I cried in the studio when I finished tough rides I thought I’d never be able to finish. If you haven’t guessed it yet, I’m a crier.

2016, you’ve taken a lot from all of us. You’ve taken our loved ones, you’ve nabbed our dreams and you’ve shaken our faith in humanity. You showed us that truth and justice don’t always prevail – sometimes the bad guy does win. In the same instant, you showed us that grace and humility still shine brightly and courage always trumps fear, even if it doesn’t seem so on the outside.

Sure you kicked my ass a bit 2016, but I can honestly say that as I wave goodbye to you, I’ve never been happier. Not because you’re finally ending your bloody reign, but because I’m actually happier. Sure, I’m not teaching yoga at Cycle Swami anymore, but I do have a sweet little space in my house – a space that is exactly what I dreamed it would be. Cozy, filled with natural light and with no goddamned brown carpet. It’s perfection wrapped in loveliness. Somehow, I’ve ended up exactly where I needed to be, I just needed to fail a bit (okay, a lot) to get there. And don’t we all? 2016, I’m not saying you’re a failure, I’d never do that, but I am saying that it seems we all need to fail a bit to recognize that our best plans may not be the ones that are actually meant to be.

So, 2016, thanks for showing me (rather roughly) how to get out of my own way. Without you, I would be stuck in the same place I was: with everything I thought I needed, but nothing I actually wanted.

Much love,