Music City

It’s funny, 2016 is coming to a close and everyone goes on and on about how crappy this year has been, but I’m sad to see it go. It’s been a year since he left now. You might remember me. I wrote a letter at the beginning of the year about how my fiancé was depressed and had moved home, 800 miles away from me. If you read that letter, you might have thought I was a horrible person for saying those things. You might have felt sorry for me. I felt both of those things while I was writing that. But I decided to stop feeling like a shitty person for choosing myself. I decided to stop feeling sorry that a terrible thing had destroyed my life. I picked up the pieces that were left of me, and I transformed. I made 2016 the year of growth, of self-discovery, of choosing myself. It was the #yearofyou.
When I imagined putting myself back together after 2015, I imagined it in a very “Eat, Pray, Love” kind of way. But I’ve also learned that the way you imagine your life is rarely how it turns out. I picked up the pieces by getting my first tattoo that says “Brave Enough.” I became who I am now by kissing boys in the Honky Tonks on Broadway and backpacking 20 miles through the mountains. I healed my heart by going on Tinder dates, and booking my first trip to Europe. I learned a lot about myself in Panama City after spending hours dancing too close with a married man. I got through my first year of nursing; I helped deliver close to 75 babies this year, and watching new life hasn’t lost its appeal one bit.
While stumbling to the Waffle House for late night food after dancing with no less than 10 boys in one night, I remember turning to my friend and saying, “I didn’t realize until this exact moment how screwed up I am.” That revelation also came with me deciding that it is okay to be messed up. It builds character. The thing that matters is that you try every single day to make yourself into the person you want to be. It matters that you are happy with this season of life you are in, no matter how messed up it seems. Find someone to ride out the storm with, and soon you’ll be looking back on one of the best years of your life.
I’m not sure who this letter is to. Maybe it’s to me 11 months ago. Or to the one scared to choose their life and career over someone they love. Maybe it’s to the person that thinks picking up the pieces after a tragedy is too hard. Either way, say what you will about 2016, but I’ve never been more thankful to have this year in my life. Do what you have to do. Spend the next year becoming something that makes you proud. “Be brave enough to break your own heart.”