Hey, Internet. Been a while, right?
For me, it feels like it has been even longer than it’s actually been. The last couple of months of 2016 I made posts in a zombie sort of fashion – posts because I felt like I needed to, not because I wanted to. Posts that made things look better than they actually felt. By mid-February, I couldn’t keep up the act anymore and so I just quit. I even removed the social media apps completely from my phone. Life got too busy for me anyway by the time March kicked off.
2017 has been…. Interesting. Some of the happiest moments of my life have occurred this past year, but I’ve also struggled immensely with anxiety and depression more than I have in over a decade. It’s weird to feel such extremes.
I lost some friends I loved (their choice, not mine); I hated myself for things that were out of my control; I questioned my heart and whether it was worth loving; I worried relentlessly over cats and put myself through weeks of trapping and rescuing a colony not once, but twice; I gained weight and hated myself some more; I failed to do a single creative thing outside of photography; and experienced anxiety attacks that felt like heart attacks over everything from possibly needing to use the bathroom when there wasn’t one around to being able to afford a suddenly more expensive life and whether that was a good decision or not.
Still, I’m walking away from 2017 feeling more blessed than not. The biggest blessing being: I’m a homeowner now! And I love, love, love my house. It’s a brick cape cod w/ a covered porch that sits up on a hill on a half acre of land, with a breezeway connecting the house to the garage, built-in bookcases surrounding the fireplace, hardwood floors throughout, 3 full bathrooms, an open floor plan between the kitchen and living room, and Heath and I even have our own giant office/toy rooms, with a spare room for any future child God might bless us with too. It still needs work – there’s still an entire, partially finished basement to tackle, and relocating from Maryland to Pennsylvania was a pain, but I finally feel proud of where I live and I’m excited for all the memories Heath and I will make here. While buying a house was a blessing in itself, there were blessings happening all around me, too, like a family who puts their creative abilities to use the second you have the keys in your hand and friends who gather together to celebrate your milestones. Twice since last December, my office has collected money to help with the burden of these changes in my life and I’ve cried every time over their unexpected kindness.
Our living room, Christmas 2017
We also have a new fur-baby! She’s just turned a year old (we rescued her from outside at just 10 weeks old in late January), and is as wild as ever. Tay’s still not sure she really wanted a sister, but the new house has at least given her plenty of opportunities to get away from hyper Callie when she just can’t be bothered with her. And I suppose you could say we have several new fur-babies if I’m honest, but that’s a story for a different post. 😉
Callie, Year 1
I’m leaving 2017 with a far better perspective than I left 2016 – I feel hopeful and excited for all the plans and work I have in mind. I’m sure there will be hiccups along the way, because that’s how life works, but I hope that starting the year with a better outlook puts me on a better path for happiness than last year. I can’t promise I’ll be online much, nearly a year away from it has definitely served as a lesson on just how toxic the internet can be and how easily it can affect you without you even realizing it, but I do hope to chime in more frequently than I did this year (which was not at all – lol). I have maintained activity on instagram (swhisted), so if you’re interested in seeing what I’m up to on a more regular basis, that’s the place to look.
I hope anyone reading this leaves 2017 behind with peace and hope in their hearts and minds. Life is what YOU make it, so choose to make it the best it can be!
Happy New Year!