So, here goes.
First, a LOT happened this last year. I consider this last year a big transition year full of lessons and healing. And I'm thankful for all of it. It started with four mouths of increased and intense anxiety again and March and April were full of emotion and struggle. But, then things began to get easier and easier.
Here is my list of what I'm thankful for:
1. My year began with the biggest photography job I've had to date, being the personal photographer to the new Mayor of Boston for the entire Inaugural weekend. It was an honor and it was both terrifying (a lot of pressure being the ONE person who had to capture it all) and absolutely amazing. It also made me realize I loved doing it, but I wouldn't want to do that job every day.
2. Meeting and connecting with many people in the "survivor community" and finally having people to relate to and who knew exactly what I was feeling. Also, for the really close friendships I developed with some of these people.
3. A beautiful birthday. I had this thought many times that I just wanted April to disappear and not have to go through it. But, my birthday is in April and the beautiful and amazing people in my life made it great. They all knew I was having a hard time and my hope was to replace the bad memories of the previous April with new and happy memories. It was a day full of love through phone calls, texts, in person wishes, flower deliveries, and a fun dinner with some friends.
4. The opportunity to spend time honoring and remembering what had happened the previous year in a beautiful tribute and then spending the day with people who had become a second family.
5. Two amazing trips to Italy. The first, where I found my peace again for the first time in 13 months and found my love of travel again, free of fear and anxiety. The second, my first trip alone in two years that helped me realize I could do it again and not be afraid of what could happen. I also found new friends and beautiful connections on that trip and completely reconnected with myself and my photography.
6. More meaningful moments with friends, new and old. I continued to have amazing friends that had been around for years, and others who had just entered my life this last year. I have a full awareness of who is truly there for me, where everyone fits in my life and just who are the most important. I feel blessed for each of these people and accepting of all of them, for the beauty they bring to my life.
7. Many great moments with family throughout the year; for my uncle who was there with me the day of the tribute, sitting by my side and the way our relationship seemed to get even stronger and deeper this last year with all of the help he gave me, both professionally and emotionally; for the rest of my family for being supportive and giving me many great memories in the summer, at family events, and on a fun family trip to Disney.
8. This will seem strange, but I'm thankful for being sick the last 6 months. It has made me step back and look at ALL of the effects from what I and others went through. It has also taught me a lot. While I try to heal my body, I know I will be at my best health in the end, both physically and mentally. I know that what i'm dealing with is, just as everything else, leading me to something even better.
9. I used alternative methods to heal myself this last year and before. I continued to make a very conscious effort to make sure I worked through what I've been through the last 21 months as well as things I've gone through my whole life. Through energy healing and other efforts, I got rid of extreme anxiety I had experienced for 20 months and I have reached a point of peace and happiness that I've never experienced before. It has altered my view of everything and given me an amazing awareness.
10. I'm very thankful for a year of amazing repeat and new clients. It has been my best year to date as a photographer and it meant even more since last year, I had lost a little of my passion for it and did not work as much. I have rediscovered my love for taking pictures, feel incredibly inspired and can't wait to see what the future of my business brings.
11. Lastly, I'm thankful for the person I am. I've done a lot of reflecting this last year and I think I am a person my grandparents would be proud of, which is something I have always strived for.
What i'm looking forward to in 2015.
2. Continuing to do my part to help people affected by the bombings.
3. Starting (well, doing it again on a larger scale) a project to promote positive self image for girls and women.
4. Continuing to grow my business.
5. Meeting my grandparents and some other family members for the very first time.
6. Traveling to more great places.
7. Continuing to heal and become the absolute best and happiest person I can be.
8. Letting everything play it's course and not worrying about the future. I have faith that everything will work out as it's supposed to in the end.
9. Figuring out where I want to be, exactly what I want to be doing. I have felt a little unsettled (in a good way) for months like I have big changes coming. I don't know what they all look like, but i'm excited to see what they are.
10. Being a great friend and person in general to everyone who is in or comes into my life.
11. SIMPLY ENJOYING ALL LIFE HAS TO OFFER AND DOING IT WITH THE PEOPLE WHO ARE IMPORTANT TO ME.
Thank you to everyone who has made this year great in any way. I wish everyone a great 2015 and years to come. Now, go make your lists. :)