2016 Reflections

December 28, 2016

2016 was a year of tremendous growth.  I completed a two-year accelerated graduate program.  For two years I woke up at 6:30AM every Saturday morning to be in school from 8AM-4PM after working the whole week.  I took classes and worked on group projects that challenged me and made me question my ability and drive to go on.  I was lucky to have some of the best classmates who pushed me to understand things about myself that I had never been forced to look at.  I spent countless nights after work and on Sundays at a Barnes and Noble or at my dining room table studying, writing papers, and preparing presentations.  I felt insecure, vulnerable and unworthy.  This is what grad school does.  The first semester was the worst of them, I was trying to orient myself to school while working a demanding full time job,  settling into being a new wife, purchasing and moving into a new home and doing my absolute best to support my teenage son who was coming undone.  I cried, I screamed, I rationalized dropping out dozens of times but my ego and my husband, who is a constant source of support for me, wouldn't let me.  I am so glad I pushed through those moments because it was in those moments that I grew in strength and realized just how much I could bend without breaking. I found a new level of comfort and acceptance of myself.  I am not perfect, I don't need to know everything, I don't have to always have it together, I can cry, I can question myself, I can be vulnerable, I can say "I don't know", I can get a B or a B- on a paper (lets not get to crazy! You have to maintain a 3.0 at all times!) and none of it changes who I am, all I've accomplished or all that I will.   The last piece of grad school is the capstone project, a "cap" that brings together all you have learned in the program, in the form of a very long "actionable" paper of your choice.  It was to be the longest most involved paper I ever had to write and there were moments of pure panic, "could I do it?, did I have the focus and writing chops to complete this monumental task?"  Well the answer is yes, I did!  It was hard and I questioned myself throughout the entire process but I got it done!  ("I am the king of the world" kind of moment, lol).

Similar Look

2016 also marked the second year of my marriage.  My husband and I have been together for almost six years and married for two and a half.  Our story is a magical one.  We met, we fell very deeply in love, we got married and gave our boys a family.  We have had our personal challenges, like grad school, parenting, a career change and we have made it through together and stronger.  My husband is quiet, patient, agreeable and my rock but the truth is he is so much more than that.  He is so wise, he knows so much more than he lets on.  He knows who he is and he is always ready to learn more about himself and the people he loves.  He gives me so much room to explore who I am and in moments where I have lost my way, with a few words and a warm hug, puts me right back on track.  He is the best human being I know, he accepts me with ALL of my flaws and reassures me that I am worthy of all the love this world has to offer.  He offers his unwavering protection and his detached availability at the same time.  The beauty of marriage is that it is the closest relationship you will ever have and if its a good one, it allows you to dive deep into who you are while providing the comfort of knowing that someone will be there when you return.  I once believed that when you were married there were no more insecurities, you've made the ultimate commitment and just like in the movies, the hardest part is over.  So not true!  The journey has just begun.  We are each others champions and biggest fans.  Together there is nothing in this world we can't accomplish.

Parenting..did I mention I have a 17 year old son? LOL Well I do!  This year has been a great one for us.  Parenting a teenager is a humbling experience, you have to switch gears from the "because I told you so" parent, to a "well lets talk through what you are thinking and feeling and try to get to the best decision together" parent.  If you are smart and pliable, you switch gears and become your child's loyal consultant and confidant.  You realize they are their own person and have thoughts and ideas about the world that sometimes don't match your own and that is OK.  You realize your job is to make sure they feel secure enough in your love to explore themselves and who they are becoming.  You support their interests even if it isn't something you are necessarily interested in.  You respect their privacy while leaving an open line of (non-judegemental) communication so they know they can talk to you if they need to.  My son and I are very close.  I cherish my time with him and look forward to all he will accomplish.  I learn from him every single day and I thank God for what he has brought to my life.  Did I mention just how proud I am to be his mommy? lol I am proud of him every single day.  

Ok guys I could obviously go on and on but I am going to stop there.  Let's just say I am happy living in this moment right now and looking forward to all 2017 will bring.

What are some of your reflections?  Take a moment to think of them and share below!

Thanks for reading!  xoxoxo 💋

by LifeStyledbyErica 

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