A Year of Grieving – of Healing – of Living.

2017 was a year of grieving. I spent last New Year’s Eve unable to leave my bed, hurting over the loss of our dad. That night my mom was my NYE kiss, and luckily tonight, she will be right by my side again as I ring in 2018 with family. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

2017 was a year of healing–a year of transferring any ounce of self-loathing into self-loving. It was a time to ask for help after years of holding back, and getting that help when I needed it most. I learned who makes up my support system. I learned how special the people in my life are, and how lucky I am to have them beside me in the years to come.

2017 was a year of life’s biggest moments. I graduated college, became employed, and moved out. I will soon move into New York City–a city I’ve dreamed of since I was just a kid visiting the Big Apple. How long will this be my home? Now, that’s just something we’ll have to re-evaluate when I look back at 2018.

2017 was a year of family–of bonding together in a time when we all needed this support the most. It was a year of continuing to fight the adversities that life throws our way. It was a year of adding a new brother, husband and son into our little family. It was a year to celebrate, to dance and laugh, and enjoy the best part of this crazy life: love.

2017 was a year of living. These twelve months reminded me what matters most in life, and from this, reminded me of what does not matter–to take a step back when I am feeling everyday stresses and pressures, and to recognize that what I’m worried about may not be worth the stress at all.

2018 will be a year to remember. I know it. I don’t know what it will bring, but I know as long as I’m surrounded by the same people that kept me going through 2017, then this new year is going to be perfect.

Cheers to the year ahead.

-Rachel

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Communicating Happiness: A Work in Progress

They can’t all be ideal weeks, but that’s not to say I can’t find the positives in Week Four of the Happiness Challenge. First and foremost, I was reminded of my support system. I strongly believe that for any chance of happiness, you need your support system close, and you need to be honest with those who are in that circle. This does not mean you have to share every detail of what’s going on in your head and in your life with every single one of your friends; however, I have found that when I share what I’m able to, the true friends show up and do not leave.

Those in my support system have reminded me that as I make my way through life, I am a work in progress. As someone who tends to be pretty critical of herself, it’s important to have people who bring me back to the reality of how mistakes are meant to learn from–not to dwell on.

This is exactly what I needed to be reminded of during the past week ofย my Happiness Challenge. It’s not always going to be easy. Just because I continue to try and focus on all the positive aspects of my life, it doesn’t mean there aren’t moments, days, even weeks that are too hard to handle alone. Hence, the support system–the people that keep me happy when I’m not too good at it by myself.

I’m lucky I found my people. I’m lucky I have the family that I do. I wish nothing more than for every person who needs happiness reminders to have the same support.

This week’s Happiness Challenge post is basically a big thank you. It’s a thank you to anyone who has witnessed my not-so-happy moments, but stick with me through them until the happy moments come back around.

Thanks Fam.

-Rachel