Reflection: 2016 Thus Far

The year is half way over and while a part of me feels like it has just started, another part of me is like damn it’s basically 2017. After so many ups and an equal amount of downs I’ve decided to reflect on my 2016. I’ve dealt with depression, family, death, accidents, like (because love hasn’t reared) and much more. In reflecting I’ve found that in this short amount of time (this year) I’ve grown and learned so much as well.

* * * * *

At the top of the year I was pulling myself out of a depressing state. In December I was in a car accident with my mom that left her car totaled and both of us scared and confused. As a parent she was worried about my health and well being. As a child I feared burying my mom. A part of me was content that we were together when it happened. I am very protective of my mother and as far back as I could remember I’ve always told my mom she couldn’t “leave” without me. We would go together. The irony of the accident was that I’d just left the hospital; was released and told that I was in “perfect health.” Negative forces were definitely displeased. I couldn’t understand how someone could not see an entire car. I couldn’t stand that I saw the car coming at us, into my side, and couldn’t yell out fast or loud enough for there to be a reaction that would’ve gotten us out of the way or the other car to stop. Obviously I blamed myself for something that was completely beyond my control.

Aside from the accident, I was still in the slumps about not yet getting into a masters program and not progressing into a more serious relationship with this guy. The accident was actually a blessing. It caused my relationship with my mother to get back to how it once was. It forced us to not take family for granted. It pushed me to stop being so serious all of the time and just enjoy life. Although I did sleep for weeks after the accident with the exception of going to work (hey bills still had to be paid), I came up with many great ideas, planned trips for my year, and motivated myself to further work on my growth – personally and professionally.

* * * * *

I’d started a business plan and an outline for branding. I began writing and laying out how I wanted my website and how I’d build a gathering. I was making a ton of self progress with managing my temper and speaking up more about how I felt. I’d dropped one of several jobs I held. I dropped some pounds. Made more time for myself and fun. I stopped limiting myself and overall I just felt better. Refreshed even. But just when I felt things were looking up for me I got a call about my grandmother’s declining health. The family thought that was it. I had just talked about how I’d go on a trip to see my grandma after I came across a poem I’d written about her and now I had to go see her and it was probably to watch her die. I did not want to go. I literally was about to book a trip to Seattle and now I had to go to Chunchula, AL and face one of my greatest fears – loosing the last grandparent I had who actually loved and cared for me.

I hopped on a plane and flew to be by my grandma’s side. I hated seeing her in that weakened state, but was thrilled to be near her. To watch tv with her, to talk to her. To just sit in the room with her. I’d befriended nurses and watched my granny respond with her eyes to myself and family who came to see her. Although I walked into her room every morning to lay eyes on her, kiss her or touch her cheeks I still cried across the hall at night. Why did she have to go through this? Why couldn’t I help her? She is an amazing caring and giving person. After two weeks I felt I was okay going home. She was fine. She’s a fighter. That’s what I told myself flying back home. I knew it would eventually happen and a selfish me prayed for her to stay awhile longer. Selfish me was a bit glad my father hadn’t gone to see her just yet, because something in me knew she was waiting for him. The longer he took to come the longer I had her around. Two months later I got the call and a text. “Granny went home to be with the angels baby.” I thought if I just didn’t respond to my Uncle it would go away. Of course it didn’t and it hurt like hell. The good of it was knowing she would no longer be in pain and seeing/meeting so many members of that side of my family. I couldn’t stand that it took loosing someone to bring us together, but I was grateful to be in their presence.

* * * * *

During this time I quit a job or two to make time for myself, my writing and career goals and family. My stress level decreased and again more weight slid off. I was actually pretty happy.  I’d reconnected with one of my little sisters who’d I thought I’d lost. I began coming out of my shell a bit more and being more open to people and relationships in general. I decided I’d try to allow others in and when it was time to gracefully let others go.

One person exited my life and I was proud that I didn’t question it. No hard feelings. I made up my mind to let things with this guy wash out. He wasn’t interested in more and I was finally able to admit that I wanted more and knew what that was. Two family members who I love dearly, I had to make them optional instead of a priority just as they’d done me. It is what it is right?

* * * * *

One of the biggest things for me thus for this year aside from opening up more, allowing myself to be a bit vulnerable and accepting like and liking (relationship stuff, I’m not really that great with words on the matter) was not dwelling on my mistakes. Without going into too much detail I made a mistake that was pretty huge to me. I did not try to blame something or someone else for this mistake. Although I had help in making this mistake, I owned up to partaking in it. I was actually hurt by it. I felt taken advantage of. I knew I messed up and I knew that I would loose a “friend” over it. This “friend” was livid after getting one side of the story. This “friend” placed all of the blame on me as though it was all a part of a plan. This “friend” is no longer a friend and while it did hurt, I moved on eventually. Faster than I would have before, but something in me told me a friend wouldn’t jump to conclusion. A friend would not only tell you how they feel, but would still be a friend even through the change. This “friend” was never really a friend and that was a lesson learned.

Even with that mistake and me feeling like who can I trust I decided to share my mistake with someone I recently started liking A LOT. At first I thought not to tell him, because it would push him away. Then I decided I HAD to tell him, because one I liked him and didn’t want to hold that from him and two if he was going to be through with me let ‘s get it over and done with now rather than later. It was refreshing to have someone listen and be there, be a friend to me the way I am a friend to others. He listened without judgement. He didn’t sugarcoat anything. And to my knowledge he didn’t share what I shared with him with anyone else. He’s refreshing. He reassured me through his words and actions that one I made the right decision and two it’s okay to be open and make mistakes. We’re all human. I can’t accept others making mistakes and punish myself for making them. You live and you learn. I’m glad I’m learning some of these things pretty early on rather than later.

* * * * *

I’m sure from what I’ve shared it seems like the bad outweighed the good (I’m tired and my thoughts are scattered). Another car accident (sideswiped on the highway), family parting ways, rejection, this guy popping back up like we never fell off, friends trying to come back in after being gone during moments where I could’ve used a friend. But honestly, the good was just so much sweeter. Family bonds strengthened and formed. New relationships. Self growth. Inspiring others. Business ventures and partnerships in progress and then some. Something told me, no I decided late 2015 that 2016 would be my year and it seems so. I’m excited and open to all else 2016 has in store for me.

For those of you who have had an “eventful” rollercoaster of a year I just want you to know that the ride is worth taking with your eyes wide open. Reflect on moments of mistake. Learn and grow from those situations that you didn’t foresee. Share the good and bad with someone, even if it’s a journal. Laugh as much if not more than you cry. Don’t dwell on the hurt, pain and mistakes of others or yourself. Remember you’ve had a low period before and somehow you survived so when you hit a dip, ride it out because your incline is coming.



Viola Constance


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