This time, I’m saying goodbye to what could be the most challenging year of my life. It wasn’t necessarily bad, but it was challenging. It gave me so much to remember yet so much to forget. It brought me so much joy but also a lot of tears. It gave me so much to be thankful for but took away a few valuable things.
2019, this is my bittersweet farewell to you.
Farewell to the day I had to break my own heart because I knew deep down I wasn’t getting the kind of love I deserved. I had to choose myself instead of settling for being an option to someone else. I had to pick being alone again over someone who was never going to value me or make an effort to be in my life. I had to once again admit to myself that I made the wrong choice and it was not too late to right my wrongs. It’s never too late to realize that you made a mistake because you can always make things right again. Farewell to the day I had to break my own heart to save it. Farewell to the day I decided to do things the hard way because I wasn’t ready to lose myself again in the arms of the wrong person and I wasn’t ready to go back on what I always believed in just to make someone else happy. Especially someone who didn’t take my happiness very seriously.
Farewell to the days I saw my loved ones suffer; either from illnesses or losses or painful experiences. The days that make you reevaluate your life and your choices. The days that make you reflect on the meaning of life and security. The days that teach you the hard way that you’re not always in control and that God will always have the last word. The days you’re never prepared for but have to face anyway and utilize all your strength, faith, wisdom, patience and resilience. The days that present you with the hardest tests in life, the ones you didn’t study for, the ones you need to pass anyway. The ones that force you to burst every bubble and step out of your comfort zone. Farewell to the days that broke my heart in irreparable ways.
But more than anything, farewell to the old me, the person I was before this year started, the person who was fearful and confused and scared. The person who didn’t know if they could start over or make things happen or walk away from certain people. Farewell to the person who was stuck either professionally or personally or romantically because if 2019 taught me anything, it’s that if you can take every challenge, every setback, every painful heartbreak, every loss, every tragedy and every missed opportunity as a sign that you need to grow or change your life or yourself and you actually do something about it, then you’ll never have a bad year. You’ll always win even if you don’t have the right cards dealt for you as long as you learn how to play them. And if you can search for the truth within you and among others even if it hurts, you won’t lose yourself, you won’t end up living a lie. You won’t pretend to be someone you’re not.
Farewell 2019, the year that forced me to find myself and my truth, to stand on my own, to watch everything I feared unfold before my eyes, to make all the difficult decisions that I was running away from, to protect my own heart by breaking it over and over again and still survive, and still hope, and still dream of better and bigger things.
2019 will always be the year that tried to kill me but I survived and the year that prepared me for whatever challenges 2020 plans on bringing, but for now, all I can hope for, just like I do every year, is for 2020 to be kind. I hope 2020 is the calm after the storm. I hope 2020 is the year I thrive but regardless of what it plans on bringing, I’m ready.
If I have learned anything over the last few years, it’s that you have to always be ready to face certain battles alone. Your inner demons, your worst fears, and your own suffering because at the end of the day no one will truly understand your demons, no one will understand the damage, no one will understand the storms you hold within, no one will understand but you, so you have to always safeguard yourself with the tools you need to fight certain battles alone and walk through certain paths by yourself.
If I have learned anything over the last few years, it’s that you can’t really predict what life will bring you because things can change overnight. One day you’re on cloud nine and the next day you’re hitting rock bottom. One day your phone lights up with the exact words you want to hear and the next day you’re receiving the news you’ve been fearing. One day you’re planning a future with someone and the next day you’re packing your bags and leaving. One day it looks like you’re finally getting things right and the next day your life is turned upside down forcing you to start over.
And sometimes there’s nothing you could do about it except learning how to survive alone, how to be your own person, how to count on your strength and hold on for a little while longer until things align again or until the world sets you free.
And I know that on some days you just want life to slow down, you wish that you could stop battling and start living. You want to be fought for instead of being the fighter, you want to be held instead of holding everything together and you want to be understood instead of drowning in a sea of your own confusion. But if you’re meant to face the hardest of battles alone, if you’re meant to keep fighting with little to no help, then maybe it can only get better from there, you can only rebuild after destruction. You can only find peace after war.
And I know that it’s harder on some days to keep the faith and stay hopeful, but maybe that’s how you make it through, staying hopeful when things seem hopeless, staying intact when things are falling apart, knowing that eventually, life will straighten itself out again, the picture won’t be upside down and the answers won’t be so confusing or so hard to find.
I guess what keeps me going is knowing that we all get what we deserve in the end, what we work so hard for and what our hearts truly desire. Because just as things can change for the worse overnight, they can also change for the better. Just as things suddenly disappear, life can magically hand you more blessings.
And maybe you’re not meant to win every battle or get all the answers right but as long as you still know how to stand tall every time life knocks you down, you will prevail.
Ironically, life becomes easier when you know that even if you lose all your battles, as long as you haven’t lost yourself, you’re still a winner.
In 2019, I’m putting all my faith in God. I’m going to let him guide me without trying to interfere with his plans. I’m not going to keep knocking on the doors he decided to close. I’m not going to rush things anymore because I’ve learned to trust his timing. No matter how much I want things, his timing will always bring the best results. His timing will always make the imperfect situations perfect.
In 2019, I’m following his signs. Without trying to change the direction. Without trying to manipulate what these signs mean. Without trying to follow my own flawed sense of direction. I’m going to truly listen to his answers even if they’re not what I want to hear. I’m going to run to him when I feel lost.
In 2019, I’ll talk to him about my problems. I won’t talk to other people, I won’t keep getting advice from people who are just as confused and lost as I am. I’ll talk to him because he’s the only one who can fix them. He’s the only one who has a real solution. He’s the only one who can truly understand.
In 2019, I’m detaching. Detaching from what’s not meant for me. Detaching from all the expectations I had for myself and people. I’m detaching from trying to make everything work or having control over every single aspect in my life. I’m detaching from my own obsessions and my own demons.
In 2019, I’m trusting him more. Because God knows what’s in my heart. God knows what I need. He doesn’t need reminders. God doesn’t forget. I’m counting on him to make me whole again. I’m done trying to mend everything myself. I’m done trying to pretend like I know what’s best for me when I have the ultimate teacher waiting for me to put all my faith and trust in him. I have the ultimate healer.
In 2019, I’m leading with faith. Faith that I’m right where I’m supposed to be. Faith that the new year will bring more blessings and more positive transformations into my life. Faith that even if things don’t work out the way I want them to, they’re still working out in my favor. Faith that I’ll eventually receive everything I’ve been asking for because that’s what faith does, it turns everything around.
I’m ready to let you go. I’m so ready to let you go. You weren’t the easiest or the happiest and I’m ready to say goodbye to everything you’ve brought. I’m ready to let go of the parts of you that disappointed me, the people who let me down, the moments that I couldn’t hold myself together and the times when I almost gave up on myself.
You taught me a few important lessons the hard way. You taught me that nothing is ever predictable, especially people. You taught me that family could easily diminish your value in a moment of anger, friends could replace you when they find their significant other, people can lie to your heart and break it just to mend theirs, but most of all you taught me how to stand alone, which will always be the hardest lesson for me, but you proved to me that the only person I can control is me and the only person I can really count on is also me. You taught me not to get too attached to people or trust too much or love too much. You taught me that I have to always guard myself even from the closest people to my heart. But…..
I forgive you.
I forgive you for all the pain, the betrayal, the unpleasant surprises, and the confusion. I forgive you for the countless nights you made me sleep with tears in my eyes. I forgive you for making the happy times short-lived. I forgive you for not going the way I wanted you to go. Maybe there is something about you that will help me in the years to come. Maybe as much as I want to forget you, you will be the year I look back on to avoid future disasters or think twice before getting close to someone again or maybe you’ll be the year that brought me closer to myself and that will make all the difference. However…
I appreciate you.
You still brought me a lot of blessings. A lot of laughter. A lot of unforgettable moments and people. A lot of memories that will make me smile for years to come. Ironically, as much as you made me feel dead inside, you brought me moments that made me feel alive like never before. You had your way of making up for the bad times or the hard times and I appreciate you for making a few things better. I appreciate you for giving me just enough to keep going, to keep believing, to look forward to what’s coming next and to have faith that the best is yet to come.
I’m going to get over you.
I’m already healing from your wounds. I’m already looking ahead. I’m done living in your sob story. I’m done being your victim. I’m done letting you take so much space and energy. I’m done dwelling on all the things I didn’t do and all the dreams you didn’t let me live. I’m done trying to make everything happen before you end.
You weren’t the year for me and it’s time to move on. It’s time to let you go.
I don’t know what to expect, I don’t know what you hold for me, I don’t know if you’ll be better or worse, but I know that I’m ready for you. I’ve survived the worst and now I’m ready to write a new story on your empty pages, literally. I can only hope that this time, it’s going to be a happy one. I can only hope that this time, you are the year for me.
I don’t know how to be anything other than intense. All in. Too much. Too involved. I don’t know how to be an almost or anything in between. But there’s a price you pay when you can’t settle for the middle because when you’re so fixated on a certain kind of love you become so good at letting go, kissing people goodbye, holding someone’s hand only to unclasp your fingers, getting so dangerously close only to create a safer distance, catching yourself before you fall because you’re not so sure if they will catch you. And you don’t know how to half-love someone or have bits and pieces of their heart, You only know how to love with all your heart and want the same in return. So I got used to it all, you know — leaving, moving on, being on my own, searching for answers, walking my journey alone because as much as I want to hold someone’s hand as I climb the mountain and as much as I want to share the view with someone, I don’t know how to balance myself if I’m not the only one. I don’t know how to open the door if I have one foot out. So it doesn’t get to me anymore when people call me too dreamy, too romantic, too idealistic, or too much because there’s a price you pay when you don’t know how to settle, you spend a lot of time waiting, you spend a lot of time alone, you don’t always have a hand to hold, you don’t always have someone to call but for some reason, you wait it out, because you have faith that one of those days your too muchness will be just enough for the right person.
I don’t know how long it takes for things to come together. For the wrongs to be right. For the lessons to sink in and for the mistakes to stop repeating themselves. I don’t know how long it takes for you to face your own truths, to win your internal battles, to have an honest conversation with yourself and ask the hard questions until you stop running away from the answers when they’re not the answers you hoped they’d be.
I don’t know how long it takes for life to start making sense or for your dreams to come true or for your happiness to stop evading you. I don’t know how long it takes until you can rest your head on the pillow and sleep peacefully without carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. I don’t know how long it takes for you to wake up and find everything you’ve ever wanted waiting for you in the morning.
But I do know that you have to believe that it’s right around corner, that it’s going to happen sooner than you think, that things have a way of turning around in the blink of an eye, that your happy ending is not an elusive fantasy but a reality waiting for the right moment to enter your life.
I know you carry with you the heaviness of a painful past and the emptiness of broken relationships. I know you carry burdens from your family and heartaches from your past lovers but I also know that these are just crumbs of things that have already burnt. These are just remnants of hitting rock bottom and all you have to do is dust yourself off and step into your new power, your new light, your new life. A life that’s not defined by anything that you didn’t have control over or anyone who has deeply hurt you. A life that’s not defined by old wounds or hidden scars.
Because the beauty of life is that you can always redefine it, you can always change it, you can always rewrite your story if you no longer want to live the same old one.
And yes I’m aware that there are things in life you can’t control and things that you can’t really change but I also know that these roadblocks are not in your life so you can turn the other way and drive off, they’re there so you can find a way around them, to figure out a new way to get to your destination without backing up. They’re there so you can learn how to keep moving instead of standing still.
I don’t know if there’s a manual that teaches you how to maneuver these roadblocks but I do know that sometimes you might have to write your own manual. And I don’t know if you’ll ever master or perfect the art of penetrating these roadblocks but I do know that every time you try, a new street opens up, you notice a new sign, you find a new direction, you see a lamppost that lights up the way and shows you what’s ahead of you. You discover something that makes the journey a little less terrifying.
You learn that there’s always something better waiting for you after every roadblock. A little detour that takes you to a whole new path that would have stayed out of sight had you stopped. You eventually learn that roadblocks are not trying to ruin your life, they’re trying to move you into another direction that brings you closer to where you truly belong.
They don’t tell you that it’s so easy to forget that we don’t have to stay stuck in one place. It’s easy to forget that we can’t change our lives or leave toxic people who bring us nothing but pain behind.
It’s so easy to forget that we have been living a lie and we can’t do anything about it because of the havoc that we might cause if we start being true to ourselves.
It’s so easy to forget that we actually have a choice.
A choice to start over. A choice to walk away. A choice to move. A choice to change. A choice to take a leap of faith. A choice to find what brings us joy. A choice to leave what once defined us.
Because the truth is there’s a part of you that knows when something has run its course, when something is over, when something has served its purpose and when it’s time for a new chapter and a new beginning. There’s a part of you that’s always ready to face what you’re afraid to admit to yourself.
It’s so easy to forget that we have that power. It’s so easy to let life define us instead of redefining our own lives.
I think what holds us back is fear, fear of letting go, fear of detaching from who we are, fear of losing what we worked so hard to achieve. Fear of changing what we think is the ‘best version’ of ourselves.
But here’s the terrifying truth, maybe it’s okay to feel like your ‘best self’ is not who you really want to be anymore.
Maybe it’s not so bad to break what once made us whole. We’re allowed to outgrow certain parts of our lives that we once fought so hard for or certain people who we once loved with all our hearts.
It’s so easy to forget that your ‘best-self’ may not be the best after all. Maybe it was for a little while, but it won’t be forever.
And I get it, it’s exhausting; changing, starting over, relearning who you are and what you need, feeling that you wasted years working so hard for something only to abandon it in the end. Trust me, I get it.
But what’s harder is living with a voice inside of you that’s that’s constantly telling you that something is off; you’re not where you’re meant to be. You’re not who you could become.
Because they don’t tell you that while it’s so easy to forget that we have a choice, it’s also so easy to remember that we can always make a different one. One that could change our lives for the umpteenth time and yes, it’s so easy to remember how to do it all over again.
It’s not like all the other times where I took my word back and stuck around.
It’s not like all the other times when I said I’d leave but I knew I’d always come back and stay.
It’s not like all the other times when my heart still had more love and chances to dole out to you.
It’s for real this time.
Here I am, taking one last look at our favorite restaurant and our favorite bar, and all the nights I had to drink my pain away.
Here I am, standing in front of my favorite monument, taking one last look at the place that held my secrets and wiped away my tears.
Here I am, taking it all in so I can release it all out.
Here I am saying one final goodbye because I know this time there’s no looking back.
Here I am learning how to live without you again.
I don’t know if I’ll miss you and I don’t know if I’ll miss the place we once called home, but I know that at this moment, I miss myself more. I’ve locked the real me inside for so long. I was forced to become someone else to make you and everyone else here happy. But I’m finally done with it all.
I’m finding myself before I find you this time.
I’m choosing myself over you this time.
I don’t always understand the universe but I know that it has my back and it’s been giving me all the signs I need to move forward. The universe is not holding back this time. The universe is telling me that this is the end of this story. This is the end of our time together.
There’s no more room for me here in your heart or in your home. There’s no room for me here in this city or in this crowd.
It feels different this time.
Because here I am standing still at the place where it all started and I don’t feel a thing. Like it was all a bad dream and now it’s over. I look at the people around me running around like I once did — trying to find themselves or find someone to love and I remember that not too long ago, that was me. Not too long ago, I thought you were the answer but now I know that the answer will always be with me.
But here I am standing still, smiling, because I know this is the last time I’ll be here drenched in loneliness, anxiety and fear and I know this the last time I’ll think of you.
Here I am smiling, because I know that from this moment on, I won’t allow anyone to dictate my future for me. I won’t allow anyone to tell me how I should live my life. It’s all mine now. It’s all coming back to me.