2012,

We didn’t meet under the best circumstances. Our introduction was awkward, and tainted by deception, betrayal, and embarrassment. I felt like I was a horrible person to deserve some of the things that I had endured by the time I laid eyes on you. I felt like I had control of very little. My life was being held together by a thread…a strong thread, but a thread. I didn’t feel like I had control over anything. And I felt loved, but alone.

I learned one very key lesson from our first glance: Grace. I learned the incredible strength it takes to forgive and push forward once you’ve been wronged. I learned to look past a person’s issues and choices and see the brokenness that caused it. It was important for me to learn that lesson because at some point, I’ll need it from someone else. God allowed me a minor glimpse of what He feels daily when dealing with us… When dealing with me.

As we got to know each other better, I know now that I was hurting. Not from the actual issue present at our meeting, but from every relational issue that had ever been. Some of my fears and self-doubt were surfacing, and it was coated with the tight cap I had placed over my emotions over the last few years. I also realized that the pain from our meeting wasn’t because I had felt deeply, but because I had tried and failed. I was angry that my decision had not worked out, and I had been embarrassed in the process. But it doesn’t change the fact that I sincerely wanted to feel.

I got to know my insecurities as I spent more time with you. I had a glimpse of what I actually wanted, but deep down never thought I could attain. My friendships strengthened. I took a few risks. I used my gifts. I trusted God more. Sometimes I trusted Him less…but at least I now know where those areas are so I can remove my hands. I’d been angry. I started expressing myself in different forms.

I let someone in. Well, correction… someone got in. I was prideful and vulnerable. I was ugly and beautiful. I was hard and soft. I rejected and accepted. I made a friend. A friend who saw my insecurities and didn’t play on them. Someone who affirmed beauty in my ugly places. Someone who didn’t try to make me be… just allowed me to be… and then I was. Helped me see through some of my learned behaviors and make me miss my true personality. I trusted. That’s scary, 2012. You could have warned me that I’d be emoting through the latter part of the year. Could’ve given me some preparation for all the emotions that would come flooding back… but noooooo. I felt stripped and bare no matter how hard I tried to stay covered. And though it was frightening…it was freeing. Just inopportune.

So I’m leaving you with some similar feelings, but they’re a good negative if that makes any sense. I feel my broken places, and now I know they’re there. I won’t board them up. I’ll shine light into them and fix them. I won’t internalize rejection. I may feel lonely, but it’ll pass. And it won’t be my truth forever. I’ll be vulnerable…yet selective. I’ll be cautious…but I’ll love. And I’ll feel pain…but so help me God, it’ll be growing pain. It’ll make me better. Because in the new year, all I want to be is better.

I want that for you too. Whoever you are. So thanks, 2012. It wasn’t always pleasant, but it was necessary.

Love,

–V

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