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A New Year

Life has a way of surprising you. People always say this, but I never gave it much thought. Hard work, dedication--that's what leads you somewhere. That's what makes things happen.

Except, that's not entirely true, is it? Because as much as you plan and prepare and say, "OK, this is how it's gonna be," Life will only chuckle and pat you on the head and reply, "Oh, but it's going to be so much better than those dreams, sweet girl."

Without a doubt, this year has been one of the hardest in recent memory--for family, for dear friends, for the state of the world as a whole. But we did it--each and every one of us. We persevered and made it here. I know so many of us are probably sighing with relief. For me, it's bittersweet.

Because 2017 had its challenges, to be certain. I sat with loved ones as they battled depression, walked through grief with my best friends and fought my own survivor's guilt, talked dozens of Lyme patients through their desperation to the other side of hope and drew courage to battle my own illness and fight the aftereffects of my own health scare.

I said goodbye to home, to family, to childhood.

But even with all these challenges and changes, there were blessings. God, how do I even begin to count the blessings? I made and met so many dear friends this past year--friends I know without a doubt belong in my soul circle. Old friendships were nurtured, sparking something stronger as new bonds were formed. Family ties were strengthened. My puppies were...well, they'll always be my source of light and saving grace.

And then came everything on the periphery--opportunities and successes (even amid failure) and adventure that I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined.

No, despite the hard work and the dedication and the dreaming, I never would have imagined all of this, that I could begin to feel so alive again. I'm proud and full of joy, but most of all I'm grateful.

Grateful for every opportunity, every experience, and each and every one of you.

Thank you for being on this ride together. It's been a wild one, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Here's to a brighter and better (and healthier) new year!

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