I would love to say that 2017 has flipped a switch inside of me. That it has given me a fresh start and the hope of new beginnings, but it really has not. It has only reminded me that at this time last year, my life was still normal. My world had not been turned upside down; I had not yet been crushed into a million pieces.
I would certainly never have chosen this life; a life without Shawn. And having this life unexpectedly thrust upon me, left me feeling completely powerless.
As I reflect back on my achievements and activities this past year, however, I believe I was given the gift of choice. I did have power. I could choose how I responded.
In year 2016:
I started a blog. You’re reading it right now, duh! This has allowed me to make new connections with amazing and brave individuals who have experienced similar loss.
I traveled to two new states–Washington and Oregon. I spent many days up north and several days in Michigan. I found nature to be very healing. Kind of surprising for this couch loving, Netflix watching girl.
I went four-wheeling on trails, jumped and laughed uncontrollably at a trampoline park, ran(ish) a 5K, and watched movies at a drive-in. All new experiences.
I went to four concerts, two Packer games, and won a gold medal in beer pong.
I ate the alphabet (26 restaurants A-Z) in nearly one summer, which allowed me to experience many new foods. I recently read a blog written by a widow who chose fitness and health in grief. I obviously went the other route.
I moved to a new city. Thank you so much Steph and Max for sharing your home with me and Gracie.
I have developed many new friendships and went back to a profession I truly love and take pride in.
I went on my first, first date in a very long time and somehow ended up with an extremely understanding boyfriend at the end of 2016. He knows my past completely and still wants to be a part of my future.
I have ultimately come to realize that I could choose to be alive and merely exist or I could choose to be alive and truly live.
I chose and will continue to choose to live.