Reflecting on one helluva crazy year. 

This year has been a full one. Filled with peaceful mountain peaks and beautiful views – the sun on my face, the wind at my back. Wonderful days of quiet sunrises and smooth sunsets. But this year has also seen treacherous storms, a consistent downpour that carved out valleys so deep they left me without a view and no sunshine in sight.

As I reflect on 2015, I am overwhelmed with the amount of curveballs that were thrown in my direction. Not in any specific sense am I overwhelmed, just… in awe as I recollect.

If you had asked me if I thought I would be leaving New York to live in LA at this point a year ago, I would have surely said no. Living with my best friend? Uhh, no. Writing for the Free People blog? I wish. If you had asked me if I thought I would have gotten engaged this year, I would have said “nah.” And if I thought I would be breaking off said engagement? Whoa, again no. What about seeing both of my grandparents pass? Please no. Seen my nephew get diagnosed with leukemia? Huh? No! As I write this, I am reminded of these things, and taken back to those particular days, times, and scenes of when and where they occurred. What I was wearing, where I took the phone call, who I was with. The flashbacks rush in, as if some dam I have built in my mind has been keeping the memories as frozen and locked as a forgotten lake. I can still smell my old apartment in the early morning when I heard the news about my Opa. Though they are tough memories to write, talk, and probably read about, I want you to know that I (we) are all okay. Resilent, thankful, and very okay.

Truth be told, I am not sure who I am writing this to. You? Me? My family and dear friends? A stranger who possibly has had a heavy year as well? The universe? Maybe no one at all? Maybe everyone at once? I don’t know. But I think that’s the beautiful thing about reflecting; there is no rule book. We are able to sincerely meditate on the past year – the good, the bad, the ugly – and learn from our experiences as we remember those times. After exploring what we’ve learned are we able to grow. Grow to give love (ourselves included), grow to acknowledge (the big and the small), and grow to be thankful (of the rough times too).

After honestly exploring and reflecting on a year of peaks and valleys, I genuinely feel lighter… and stronger. 2015 was a hard one, there’s no denying that, but it was also a year of constant love, an outpouring of uninhibited love I felt every day. I am thankful for my friends, family, coworkers, and the community here on the blog that offers words of encouragement week in and week out. And thank you, 2015, for your teachings, as tough as they were. But 2016, I sure am looking forward to seeing you.


+Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2016. Happy New Year!

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7 years ago

It’s been a year of curveballs for me too, Joanna… more valleys than peaks, but here i am fighting my way into 2016. I wish you the best with your own fight and may we finally be able to relax and enjoy nothing but peaks for the next 365 days and beyond!

7 years ago

Beautiful, Joanna

7 years ago

Wonderful Word, my year was a touch one too, I saw people which I love die but there was also a lot of love in my life especially through my son.

I wish that everyone will habe a wonderful and happy New year.

greetings from germany

7 years ago

Thank you for reflecting, Im usually not one to think back on the year because I just want to move on. But you make me realize how everything that occurred was completely unexpected! (I get caught up trying to figure out what to do next quite often.) And that’s what made it beautiful. I even met and fell in love with my girlfriend at a music festival which was totally unexpected. Much love -Jeremy

7 years ago

This was beautiful! Thanks for sharing! :)