Fresh off the back of 2016, the best year of my life so far, I was determined to make 2017 another great one. That it would turn out to be the very worst year of my life, I would never have imagined.
To be fair, my year did start off well. Luke and I went to two beautiful family weddings, one of my best friends gave birth to a healthy baby girl, work was going well, and Luke and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary by hiking up Snowdon.
But then, on the 8th of April, my Dad had his stroke, and life began to crumble. I’m not going to go into it all again, you can read about it here if you’d like to know more. Let’s just say that after a very stressful year, we lost my Dad in October, and then three weeks later, we lost my Grandad.
This year has tested me and my family beyond belief, and we’ll be ending it minus two incredible people.
2017 has thrown everything at me. I’ve been knocked down by every set back, every piece of devastating news, and every wave of grief.
But what I’ve learnt is, I will always stand back up. I am tough, and I can remain positive when the world seems determined to break me.
There have been some glimmers of joy amongst what can can best be described as a dark seven months. As well as the good stuff from the start of the year, I went on holiday to Mallorca, my cousin gave birth to a baby boy, I spent a weekend in the Lake District, my brothers and I had a lovely weekend with my mum to celebrate her birthday, one of my best friends had a baby boy, I travelled to Copenhagen with Luke, and I got a new nephew. Lots of babies in 2017, it seems.
This year has also reminded me how utterly brilliant my friends are. Between them they have picked me up when I’ve crumbled, and I’ll be forever grateful that I could lean on them this year. Finally, even though my darling Dad ultimately lost the fight with life, he came on leaps and bounds before his death. He made so much progress after the stroke, and every single step forward made my heart swell with joy.
I guess what I’m saying is, there is joy and positivity everywhere, you just really need to want to see it.
I’ve long suspected that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but now I’m a firm believer. I’m piecing myself back together. And after everything we’ve gone through this year, I know I can handle anything.
So come on 2018, hit me with your best shot. I’ll be ready.