It goes without say that 2016 has been an interesting & rough year on many people as every year tends to be depending on who you are.
As we close this year out with what seemed like an influx of celebrity death(Prince still hurts), the killings of unarmed black men & women by law enforcement, the slain police officers in Dallas, the loss of loved ones of my friends and family, my decision to walk away from Kanye West for good(although I’m taking his albums with me) and the worst of them all, the grinch that stole America…Trump(or as my Spanish elementary students call him, Donald Duck, which is both hilarious and a brilliant comparison), I want to end on a positive note.
Like, the fact that we were gifted with not one, but TWO incredible albums/visuals by the Knowles sisters, both of which served as the soundtrack to my 2016.
The African-American Museum opened in Washington D.C, travel officially opened up to Cuba, Elaine Welteroth became the youngest and only the second African-American Editor-in-Chief of a Conde Nast publication(Teen Vogue), Simone Biles’ domination at the Olympics, President Barack Obama & Kendrick Lamar kickin’ it in the Oval Office, and the plethora of marriage engagements and baby announcements/births that we all witnessed on our social media feeds all year-long, just to name a few.
Personally, 2016 has been an incredible year for me. I traveled a lot, overcame a personal fear, I read some positive & motivating books, developed healthier eating habits and fell in love with cooking, and I engaged in new experiences.
I truly grew as a human and a woman who’s just out here trying spread my magic.
I had such a great year that when I started to plan 2017 I thought to myself, “I have to stick to this formula because certainly this formula works for me and I don’t want anything going wrong in 2017!”
But as my mind started venturing down this path, I felt like I was thinking about 2017 all wrong. Yes, I have grown and experienced personal wins but a new year is just that – A NEW YEAR. Why would I want it to be the exact same? In a way I felt my desperate need to stick to the same formula was based out of fear. If there’s anything that 2016 has taught me it’s HOW to live my life.
Here Are Seven Lessons That 2016 Taught Me:
1.) 2016 taught me to always make sure I read books that empower me, motivate me, and most importantly, make me laugh.
2.) 2016 taught me that travel is part of my identity and I am officially a citizen of the world.
Whether it is solo travel or traveling with my best girlfriends, travel is like a breath of fresh air that I need pumped into my body as much as possible. This was also my first full year living in Spain. My time living abroad has undoubtedly changed my life.
3.) 2016 taught me the importance of friends and family.
I got to spend time my family, old friends, and make new friends this year. I learned the importance of supporting your friends and family in small and big ways. I also learned to step outside my little introverted box and open up to new people in my life.
4.) 2016 taught me that no matter where I live in the world, I will always manage to see Beyoncé in concert, even if it delays other things in my life. That’s just the way it is, folks.
5.) 2016 taught me to challenge myself and face my fears.
I learned that once you decide to step up to the plate, it’s not so bad after all. To be honest, you actually might end up enjoying that one thing you were scared of.
6.) 2016 taught me that life and how much you get out of it really depends on your attitude.
When I entered 2016, I was quite sure this would be my last year living in Spain. And you know what happened? This year has been nothing short of incredible and I have developed a deeper appreciation for Madrid. I even got robbed and I still think this year was for the books! But that’s exactly what I’m referring to when I say it depends on your attitude. I really haven’t thought much about being robbed as much as I have thought about all the happy moments of 2016.
I have even been considering staying in Spain.
To be continued…
7.) Finally, 2016 reminded me that you just have to trust your heart and gut in certain matters.
Whether it’s a relationship or where to move to next, our instinct will never fail us.
Here’s to an amazing 2017 to all! I look forward to all the joy, peace, and prosperity that’s in store for all of us!
Photos by: Jessica Cobbs