Dear 2016…

Oh 2016, what a whirlwind year you have been. I have so many thoughts and emotions going through my head; I don’t know where to begin. I guess we can start from the beginning…

I watched the ball drop on the television, surrounded by family. I looked around at everyone as they cheered and exclaimed “Happy New Year!” I turned to my boyfriend, smiled, and gave him a peck on the lips. This is my year. I thought to myself, and in that moment, I didn’t know how accurate that statement would be. 2016, I was excited to meet you, and thrilled to see what you would bring into my life. 

As the spring semester began, January flew by before I could even take a breath.Somehow it was already February, and I was applying for an internship at Sherwin-Williams.

I couldn’t believe it when I got an email asking for a phone interview for the position I applied for.

I really couldn’t believe it when I was informed that they liked me, and wanted me to come in for an in-person interview.

I really really couldn’t believe it when they called me, and said they wanted me to come in again for a second interview.

I was absolutely shocked, appalled, and in awe when I found out I got the job. “That’s a wonderful company to work for!” was a phrase I heard time and time again when I told someone of the news.

I felt on top of the world. I felt as if nothing could bring me down. I felt like I was finally doing the right thing, and on the right track to a bright and hopeful future. 2016, I loved you for this. I loved you for giving me hope for my future.

This incredible feeling lasted a few months. Then came April.

I began my internship at the beginning of April, and I loved every second of it. I felt like I was moving towards and focusing on my future. It was almost too good to be true. Then, it all came crumbling down. My past crept up to pull me into its deep, dark void.

To make a long story short, this resulted in my anxiety increasing tenfold, and my being a complete and utter wreck almost all of the time. My life completely flipped upside down, and I couldn’t figure out how to turn it upright again. 2016, I hated you for the entire month of April. 

Then came May and June, and I became distracted. I was distracted from the issues I had been dealing with, and I felt free and happy again. 2016, I want to thank you for this. I needed this break, and you gave it to me. You gave me the distraction of my beloved Cleveland Cavaliers winning the 2016 NBA Finals.

That’s not the only reason I want to thank you. 2016, I want to thank you for giving me the experience. The experience of my favorite sports team winning a championship. The experience of watching all seven games of the finals, and hoping and praying that this team could come back to win it all after a 3-1 deficit, making NBA history. The experience of watching game 7 of the NBA Finals, and screaming at every play. The experience of watching the final seconds of the final game count down, and seeing LeBron James embrace his teammates with tears of joy. Thank you, 2016, for a moment that I will truly never forget.

This temporary “high” of the Cavs winning the championship extended all summer, and I continued to be distracted from my problems. However, as summer came to a close, I felt the anxiety creeping back. I was going to be starting classes in a few short weeks, and anxiety was something I did not want to deal with. So, I made the decision to seek help. I went back to my counselor that I had taken care of me before, and I thank myself every single day for doing so. 2016, you gave me the realization that I still needed help. You may have sent me back to a deep, dark time in my life, but you lead me to the brightest, most beautiful place I have ever seen.

2016, I just wanted to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry for hating you much too often, and thinking that you were only here to cause harm. I’m sorry for not trusting you, and not believing that you had a plan for me. I’m sorry for wishing you away, and longing for your successor, 2017. I’m sorry for waiting until the final days of your existence to realize your incredible worth.

2016, you had dark moments, but you never failed to follow those dark times with absolute brilliance. Thank you for the memories, both the good and the bad. I will hold them in my heart forever. 

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