I’m going to go ahead and say that this year did in fact treat me well. It certainly wasn’t what I expected, that is for sure. But I learned a lot, I met new people, and I realized that life is everything but simple. I started the year off with heartbreak and self pity. Wallowing in sadness for far to long. I even forgot how to live, disconnecting myself from the people who only wanted to see me smile. Through G-Eazy concerts, taking care of electronic babies, and trying on prom dresses, I still hoped for something that was not good for me. I attended a single ladies valentines day dinner, if you haven’t experienced one of those I suggest you decline any future invitations. We sat around the dinner table, in awe of the fact that the red and white holiday was not spent with someone of the opposite sex. Quite awkward if you ask me. Valentines Day weekend my mom and I saw “The Choice” in theaters. I balled as the main male told the main female he wanted her to bother him forever. Forever! I went home and spent the night cutting up pictures and erasing signs of any part of my past I wanted to forget. I believe here was my revelation. I slowly but surly regained consciousness of reality and just how many possibilities for happiness existed. I toured colleges, exploring pieces of my future that I was to scared to think about. I created a blog to help share my side of the story titled high school. I traveled to Hawaii and took in the beauty of Maui, rattled by the fact that this was my last solo trip with my parents as a child. The school year died down and I got senioritis quite early. Summer was full of adventures and sunset snuggles. Trips to the cabin refreshed my soul and late nights reminded me of my youth. My grandpa got sick, catapulting my family into a funk. My dad had to travel to the cornfields of Nebraska often, and worry became the new pastime. I could tell things were not looking up. But luckily, amazingly, surprisingly, things took a turn for the better. The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota used their insane intellect to figure out my grandpa simply had something temporarily wrong with him. He is now doing awesome, he found his joy again and I admire him deeply for this. Check out my summer post to learn all of the silly things I did. As senior year approached I realized that my dreams may be harder to achieve then previously thought. I spent hours on my college essays and had a fellow writer (professional) edit the crap out of them. We took an unusual approach to them, hoping to spark interest and love for me as a student and human being. We mocked my “chickenness” and portrayed my love for my certain dream college within my essays. I attempted to fill out the forms with accuracy and I conveyed myself as best I could. Stress oozed out of me constantly- and it still does. I joined, and helped start, the first newspaper at Prior Lake High School, writing articles, adding input, and learning the ins and outs of journalism. Hamlet haunted my dreams during APLIT’s tragedy unit, and I taught Spanish immersion kids at La Ola Del Lago. My family and I spent my last MEA in Duluth, Minnesota. I forgot just how beautiful of a town it was. The rock lined shore and the streets filled with local shops brought joy to my heart. We saw the falls, got some pie from Betty, and my parents spent time calming my college nerves. Thanksgiving passed as normal. And typical high school drama continued. Ex boyfriend’s new girlfriend’s jealousy, rumors, girl on girl resentment, and of course teachers teaching badly. Tonsillectomy pain surged during the Christmas season, but Hallmark movies kept me sane. Now that 2016 has passed, I am sad that what some call the easy years are over. Though I have learned countless things, ranging from less worry more fun, to working hard for good results. I feel like maybe I did not live as boldly as possible this last year, but that is going to change. 2017 is going to be scary, with graduation and college acceptance/denial letters, but I couldn’t be more prepared. A toast to the upcoming new year and a goodbye to the past: May all of our dreams come true, creating prosperity, happiness, love, and bold living, and may the past remind us that no matter how low we are things will always improve. May we remember that the possibilities are endless this new year, and that it will be impeccably awesome . So let the worries subside and raise a glass with me. Cheers to 2017, goodbye 2016. As I sit in bed listening to the Badgers play in the Cotton Bowl, I am reminded of just how amazing my life is to be given the opportunity to go to college and live greatly. Stay tuned to see what happens this new year. I wish everyone nothing but the best.