Woah!!! Hello there first blog post of 2017!!! I heard it all as we crossed over; from “goodbye 2016, I’m not going to miss you” to “there’s nothing to it, it’s plain and simple… 2016 was a horrible year”. I giggled as someone said, “Everything about 2016 screamed leap year” and gave that subtle nod of agreement for the “2017, where are you at though?” memes… Some even referred to 2016 as the hunger games of life and I get it, I really do.
In all honesty, I myself have said some of these statements so many times this past year. Where I didn’t say anything, I felt it – from February!! Hahaha (at least that’s what I felt)… Seriously, 2016 seemed to carry a lot of messed up ish about it but, as I was journaling the other day, I had to pause and think… Really? Really though Nos?
We get so obsessed with the negative, the bad things, that we forget to appreciate the good… 2016 was a good year for many people: I watched engagements, weddings, child births, baby showers and graduations. I saw people announce new jobs, new cars, college admissions and grad school admissions all through my facebook/snapchat/Instagram timelines. Numerous people got opportunities to travel, spend time with families, the list goes on. But then, why does the negative seem to encapsulate our lives?
I looked at my journal entry and realized that I’ve got so much to be thankful for. That, while the downs of the year seemed to overwhelm me, the ups were silently waving and whispering, “see me”… Here’s part of my “list of thankfulness” for the past year. I encourage you to jot down your own list as the new year starts; in your journal, in a word document, as a comment on this post, on a piece of paper… Write it down somewhere you can reread it, you’ll be surprised how good a year you’ve had… I know I was:
- I’m thankful for my spirituality
“Being on a spiritual path does not prevent you from facing times of darkness; but it teaches you how to use the darkness as a tool to grow”
If nothing else, believing in someone (or something, if that’s how you roll) gives you a sense of hope: Hope for the future, hope in hopeless situations, hope that everything that you experience happens for a reason. In 2016, hope was my guide through many situations and sometimes, hope was all that I had. YAY FOR HOPE!!!
2. I’m thankful for grace
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in [your] weakness”
What would we do without grace?? Seriously, I received grace from areas I did not even expect in 2016. I am thankful that, in different situations I have received grace from God, from family and from those around me, countless times. God knows I needed that grace too because, heck, sometimes when life gets rough we loose ourselves and falter without thinking twice. I did A LOT of that (faltering) in 2016.
3. I’m thankful for family
“Families are like branches in a tree, we all grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one”
Fact: If you have experienced being miles away from home you know family bonds can get iffy. Fact: My family is cool (granted I might be biased here but they seriously are)… There are mornings where I woke up to the most hilarious whatsapp threads and they gave me life. Or pictures that have been captioned for every situation (I’d share those pictures here but I might get into trouble. Hahaha)… Sometimes I don’t think they realize it but, my family is the reason I keep going even when I don’t feel like it.
4. I’m thankful for friends
“True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils. Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island”
All my friends, all of them!!! This year I made some new friends, I grew deeper in some friendships, and lost some (yeah, its part of growing up right?). I am thankful for how my friends continuously call me out and call me up, how they love recklessly, how they remind me to celebrate continuously through their own celebration. Having a diverse range of friendship circles constantly reminds me that, everyone has their strengths, weaknesses and lessons to teach and that the privilege of being befriended to my people allows me to constantly learn. I am thankful that, through diversity, I am a student daily and my friends are my teachers.
5. I’m thankful for opportunities to travel
“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”
From my Southern Africa travels, to a pit stop in Europe and the US adventures, this year has been a fulfilling year for my wanderlust. Again, I can’t be thankful enough for the friends who hosted me and made these adventures enjoyable! Here’s to many more travels in 2017.
I won’t lie, focusing on just the good from 2016 is hard. There are many, many terrible things that may have happened this year but it is important to remember there may be even more good ones. My list encouraged me and, best believe, it gets longer and more person in my journal. It allowed me to shift my perspective on a year I initially thought was a really sucky year…
I’m coming into 2017 with tonnes of positivity on my head (and if you know African women, you know we can carry a whole house on our heads…tsk tsk). I don’t know about you, but 2017 is my positivity year…
Soooo, “if you are negativity, I will DOOM you”… Or, better yet, I might just leave all memories of you in 2016…hahaha
Stay positive, HAPPY NEW YEAR and here’s to a po(WER)sitive year ahead!!!
(And for your laughing pleasure, here’s a link to a video that should start your year right)