Thank You, 2017


There's been a meme going around the interwebs that goes something like this: "2016: Caterpillar; 2017: Cocoon; 2018: Butterfly." Cheesy? Yes. But also, accurate. At least for me.

2017 absolutely felt like a cocoon year. It started off with me still reeling from a rough 2016. I spent a lot of this year feeling vulnerable and apathetic, aimless and lost. I cried a lot on my way to work, I spent more time journaling than I have in years, I did a lot of going to bed right after I got home from work and I hunkered down for most of the year, not really having the energy or the desire to give much to others. I was just depleted... I couldn't "give" anything because I sort of felt like I had nothing left to give.

And for much of the year, what little I had left seemed to get exhausted by the news. Natural disasters, mass shootings, Trump's latest atrocity... there was never a time where it felt safe and so the cycle of vulnerability followed by my defense strategy of retreat and apathy continued.

But as I sat down yesterday reflecting, prepping this annual recap and looking at pictures from the year I realized that despite months of working through that depression, a lot of good stuff did happen in 2017. For instance, instead of deaths, there were births: 7 of our friends and 6 of my co-workers welcomed new babies into the world. Instead of poor health, there was self-care: unlike 2016 where I was constantly sick and stressed out and googling WebMD about my newly uncovered Lynch Syndrome, I don't think I visited WebMD once this year or had one health-related anxiety attack.

This was the year that Ryan and I began apart and ended engaged; the year that I recommitted to taking care of myself spiritually and healed so much through A Course in Miracles, surfing and solo travel; the year that I got involved by marching in protest, joining ACLU, making frequent calls to my representatives in Congress, donating when I could, making lifestyle changes and learning about important issues; and the year that I really learned how to let go of what wasn't serving me.

Ultimately, I'm thankful for 2017. It may have often been a dark one internally, but I see now how those dark spots were so necessary for what's coming up ahead. Here's a look back at everything that went into it...