As 2016 comes to a close, I can honestly say that I’m probably not going to miss it much. This year saw me through a lot of great memories, but it also saw me through a lot of hardships I never pictured myself having to endure.
In 2016, I woke up in the beautiful state of Florida.
I started my senior year of college.
I made lots of new friends.
I lost a lot of friends.
I saw myself question my life and where it’s going.
I felt heartbreak, and I caused heartbreak.
I sat in wait for 5 hours and endured an hour of cold rain for the Ohio State game in Norman. We might have lost, but I believe I witnessed one of the most amazing games of the season. I sat 8th row at the 45-yard-line of the Red River Rivalry and watched my team win one of the most intense, heart-stopping OU/TX games. 126 years into OU’s existence, I was there to witness history in the freezing cold rain – I watched my team compete and win the Big XII championship on their field (#MayfieldWestbrook2016).
I watched my anxiety grow to be so crippling that I felt like I no longer knew how to control it. I felt heavy. I felt dark. I felt too much.
I watched chapters of my life come to an end and have found myself struggle to want to go onto the next.
I really can’t express how much I won’t miss 2016. Part of me still hopes it’s just a really bad dream I haven’t woken up from yet. But I know that 2016 has come and gone, and the experiences I endured can’t be changed now. But 2017 is a chance to start over; a time to clean the slate and leave the past behind and run towards the beauty that is the story that has yet to unfold for me.
I pray that in 2017 I remember the times that made me feel so alive and remember to keep striving to make memories that will last me a lifetime. That although I may not be entering it the way that I thought, and that I may not be seeing myself through some experiences that I assumed I would for so long, it won’t hold me back from making this life beautiful. That I hold the memories dear, but don’t lose sight of the future.
I pray that I never stop taking leaps of faith. That I will continue leaning on God to guide me through the unknown. There will always be a thousand choices to be made at every corner, and I pray that my only wish be to pursue the path that will allow me to see Him in everything and allow me to share the joy, peace, and love that I have found in Him.
I pray that in hard times, I will smile. That I will stay upbeat and vow to always find the silver lining on every cloud, no matter how big, no matter how grey. I want to remember that no matter how hard things may seem, there is beauty to be found.
I pray that I don’t become so absorbed in the struggles of the unmarked territory of adulthood that I lose sight of the bigger picture. I pray that I don’t become so jaded by going through the motions of life that I miss out on the purpose.
I pray that on the days that I feel alone, anxious, and afraid of where life is going, that I continue to trust the plan that has been laid out before me. That every step – or misstep – is nothing more than a step towards where I need to be.
I pray that my heart strives for the things of the Lord, and that my heart breaks with what breaks His. I want nothing more than to continue to learn how to love His children just as He has loved me.
I pray that I never lose my fire. That I will stay passionate for the things God has created me to do and to love.
I pray that I am bold and don’t shy away from challenges. Life is too short to not take risks.
I pray that I keep and grow the wonderful community that has been there for me throughout this challenging, taxing year. I know that I would not be where I am right now if I didn’t have them – my family, my roommates, my friends (Norman and Dallas alike), my church… They are truly the biggest blessings in my life, and I have learned that community is the key in overcoming life’s hardships.
So 2016, I really won’t miss you. I wouldn’t change what happened, just how. But here’s to 2017 – there are more margaritas to be had and more memories to be made. Here’s to the year I graduate, to the year that has so much in store for me: bring it on. I’m ready for you.