Well 2017 is nearly over, so I sit here and reflect on the year that it has been.
When I entered 2017, I didn't know what the year would bring, but I certainly didn't expect to be faced with the challenges that it threw into my path.
What I also didn't expect was how life changing these experiences would be and how much I would learn from them and grow. They say difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations and I truly believe in this. It's also true that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
Each year we are challenged to grow, learn and evolve and also have some fun along the way. Although this has been an emotionally difficult year, it has also been one with many unforgettable moments of love and laughter in all shapes and forms.
It has been a year for new friendships and for being thankful for those that have been around forever.
It was a year where I would finally say goodbye to a 16 year career in finance and follow my love for writing and helping others. To have a job that fulfills both of these passions is something I am very grateful for. Although it took a bumpy road to get here, I am thankful that it wasn't easy because it has made me appreciate it that much more.
It was also a year of saying goodbye to someone very close to my heart. Someone that taught me that life is a gift and you have to give it everything you have. Someone that taught me that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Someone that taught me if you get knocked down, you have the strength to get back up and keep fighting. Someone that taught me it's perfectly ok to just be me.
Although it saddens me that this person is no longer with us, it brings me great joy and happiness knowing that this person has helped shaped who I am today and so many others and has taught me not only to appreciate everything around us but has also opened my eyes up to a world that I never truly saw before.
The greatest thing I learnt from this experience is to not be so quick to judge. Everyone has a story to tell and a path they have walked. No two people are the same, we are all unique and we can learn so much from each other. You can have a positive effect on someone's life by a simple smile, even if that person is a complete stranger.
Life is too short to be anything but happy. So tell people how much they mean to you. Embrace them and let them know it's ok to be exactly who they are. Hug often and be the reason someone smiles.
After all, it's the season for giving, so give love to all those around you and appreciate that you are exactly where you should be.
Although I am very much looking forward to waving goodbye to 2017, I am also truly grateful for everything that it has been.
I look forward to the challenges of 2018 knowing that I am a stronger person than the one who entered 2017.
A very merry Christmas to you all and I hope 2018 is everything you hoped for and more.