original post date - december 29, 2018 #Dear2018 - Thank U, Next

​Dear 2018, You have been the best and worst year of my life so far. It’s difficult to articulate how, but that’s exactly where I am at the moment. I’ve been searching for words to explain and summarize what you’ve been, but I can’t put my finger on them. There have been lots of highs. There have been lots of lows. It’s like part of me hates to see you go, while the other is gonna love to watch you leave. You’ve felt like one big test. One thing after another. When I thought I was on my way back to the top, you quickly put me back in my place. Some days I woke up feeling like I was on top of the world. Some days I woke up feeling like the world was on top of me. Sometimes it felt like I couldn’t catch a break. I wanted to give up. Throw in the towel. There were a number of times I wanted to say fuck it and just stop caring. But I couldn’t. No matter how many nights of sleep I lost. No matter how many tears I cried. No matter how many tears I couldn’t cry. No matter how many times I said I was tired, over it, and ready to give up. No matter how many times I lied and said I was fine when I was on the verge of falling apart. Something in me kept fighting. Kept pushing in hope of something better. In spite of everything, you didn’t take me out. Trying to wrap my head around the whys you’ve given me this year has been mentally and emotionally exhausting. Why did things I prayed so long and worked so hard for not happen? Why did I have to lose people? Why can the fairytale love happen for others and not for me? Why does this life give me the constant feeling I don’t have/can’t do/don’t deserve what I want? Why am I still trying? Why am I now okay with letting some dreams die? Why can I feel my heart hardening? Why did I let myself get to the point of wanting to not care? Why did depression and anxiety come so heavily so quickly? Why was this slump so much worse than the others? Why can’t I stop these feelings? Why can’t I cry and get all this out? Why can’t I seem to get better & maintain it? Why do I hurt in places and ways I didn’t even know I could? Why can’t I give up when I don’t always see or feel there’s gonna be an end to this? Why do I have so many moments where I feel like I don’t matter? Why does it feel like God left me even though I try to get closer and closer to Him? Why do I keep going? It amazes me that I’ve experienced so much good and so much struggle in the same 365 days. Any time I reflect on this past year, I feel like a major contradiction. So much of this year felt like shit, but I’m still so grateful for so many things that have happened. I still struggle with bragging on myself and focusing on the good, but I can honestly say a lot of good came from this year. I finally started learning to love myself for everything I am and everything I’m not (not all the way there yet, but hey, PROGRESS). I had the best summer and best birthday I’ve ever had. I’ve gotten to travel more. I’ve traveled alone, which is something that idea of doing used to scare me. I was able to check some things off my bucket list. I went to Niagara Falls. I started this blog. {Me. Putting my thoughts, concerns, etc. on the interwebs for anybody to see. That’s big.} I finally started having moments where I felt like I was living life instead of just going through the motions. Even with my mental state where it is, I’ve never felt better about myself. My confidence isn’t as rooted in others as it once was, even though there are still times where I’m shaky. I'm getting closer to being secure. I’m making better efforts to actually take care of myself. I’m learning how to make myself a priority in my life and not feel bad about it. I’ve learned that my peace is worth protecting at all costs. I’ve learned more about why I am the way I am in relation to other people and certain aspects of life. Lately, I’ve just have to remind myself that this was the year I learned that I really am THAT bitch. Now I’m not super big on resolutions (at least not calling them resolutions), but it is my sincere prayer that 2019 will treat me a lot better than you did. There are some things I would love to have happen as we all take another trip around the sun, but part of me doesn’t want to do my usual list. It’s strange. I love setting goals and making lists, but these past couple months have left me with the feeling that things are missing. I feel like I’m changing and it’s not unusual for things to not go according to plan, so I’m just not sure. In true Sebrena fashion, I know I will make plans and lists and goals like I do year-round, but I hope this new year will be one where I see more of my dreams and prayers come to reality before my very eyes. It’s no secret I’ve never been in a relationship, but I still find Thank U, Next x Ariana Grande to be a song very applicable to where I am right now. Not even just when it comes to guys that I’ve liked and been hurt by, but just my life in general. 2018, at the VERY least, you’ve taught me love, patience, and pain, and they’ve all manifested themselves in different forms. Some of that manifestation came in the form of people. Some came in the form of ideas and realizations I've had. I have a new and deeper appreciation for myself and my struggles because I know in the end I’m gonna be alright. It sure as hell doesn’t always feel like it, but I AM GOING TO MAKE IT. Mark my words. If you’ve taught me nothing else this year, you’ve taught me that God made me a lot stronger than I ever realized. I’m still here. Not only am I still here, but I’m here for a reason. My story is going to help somebody somewhere. There is something on the other side of all this that God is gonna blow my mind with. I just know it. Okay, this is the part where you raise your glass. The contents of that glass, however, whether it’s juice, soda, wine, tea, Hennessy, or water is no business of mine. *clears throat* As we enter into 2019, here’s to twelve months of living life. Fifty-two weeks of being great. Three hundred sixty-five days of flourishing. Yours truly, brena brink

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