Dear 2016,

Dear 2016,2017-3

I stood out on the edge of 2015 with a steady gaze looking towards you, contemplating the mysteries ahead of me. Seeing you through the trees I knew the only way was forward through the shadows.  I was ready for you, prepared and determined to explore your secrets. There was a plan for you 2016. I had a plan for me, I guess you had a plan of your own.

Straight through I approached you, the clock striking midnight in turn.

Once I reached you-you turned the path beneath me. This was a strange forest, I quickly began to realize this was no preconceived journey.

2016 I was a prepared adventurer ready to tackle the very depths of myself with the time you allowed me. 2016 you made me look deep within and I found some hidden scary things there. Ugly things. Twisted and warped from being hidden from view for so long.

I began with a stubborn and detailed plan for self-growth. Perhaps the universe took thisyourealwayswith-me as a challenge to its position. Perhaps the universe doesn’t like too much planning. Silly little me. “I am the one who makes the plans” the universe laughed. A lesson I am still trying to learn.

The year started with a unique set of struggles in my personal life. Unpredictability met me straight out of the gate. I overcame the first hurdle along my voyage.

The winter months kept me inside my home and me. A self-review commenced.

Along the beginning of the snow-covered path of winter, I noticed sneaking shadows disguised behind the trees. Dotted along my way forward.  Lingering memories of my past. I witnessed them before on journeys of years past, always ignored, always watchful, careful not to stare too long.

I found myself met by a great wall blocking my way forward. There was no way through, no way around. Here I was stuck in the cold winter of my mind surrounded by shadows and ghosts with no way forward. I knew it was time to meet them. It was time to call them into the light. Meet my lurking shadows.

Thank you 2016, for the battle cries and tears. Thank you for teaching me that together with my shadows I could lift that wall high. I had the power to use my past to move me forward.

The sun broke through the trees as the thaw of spring came. Just in time 2016. All that work in the cold. It was time for some warmth, it was time to feel the sun on my skin.

As the spring melt transformed my surroundings and my path ahead, I found myself swept away to foreign lands.

Ancient castles and cobbled streets, beautiful nature and history. Helped bridge the gap between what was old and what was new. A mirror image of my own adventures and struggles.

I enjoyed the trip of a lifetime, to Belgium and Amsterdam. Ah sweet adventure, this was more like it. My soul was rejuvenated. I experienced so many beautiful things, I learned more about myself and my relationship, I collected memories I will keep with me forever. Thank you for that 2016.


Back home the snow continued to make its journey back to the earth and air as the great hands of the universe placed an old friend on my path. Again my way forward was blocked. Why was this person here? I looked for a way around as I always do.

“Not this time” fate roared.

And so I said goodbye to that old friend. Something that was painful and raw. A wound opened but through that departure, I think the right path for us both appeared through the trees.

“It is time to say goodbye” whispered 2016. And with a gulp, I walked away leaving that friend and not looking back. It was a painful departure. So my journey forward was a little more unsure, a little more lonely, a little more exciting.

With a deep inhale I smelled the fresh air of this new path paved. A fresh beginning, a new way forward. Thank you 2016, sometimes we need to let go.

As the summer months rushed in, the sunshine and calm of long days and nights spent in the wilderness relaxed me. I felt happiness shine on my path as I spent time indulging outdoors with someone very dear to me, reading, learning and playing.

Summer days spent dreaming and recovering from scars of change and transformation. With warm breezes through shaky trees, flying starlight and the haunting call of the neighboring Loons I began to understand you 2016. I began to understand that there was deeper to go for us. More to see, learn and do.

PicMonkey Collage.jpg

With the wind in my hair, I smiled up at the world, a new kind of embrace took ahold of me.

In the hot summer sun, a figure appeared in the distance on my path ahead. It was a Buddhist monk. Calmly sitting crossed legged and unmoving. I stopped and stared intrigued. He did not block my way I could easily walk around him. I had done this before.

This time I sat with him, closed my eyes and felt the noise of the world disappear. I discovered Shambhala.

Your greatest gift 2016.

This time I would not pass this lesson by,  I jumped in fully and completely.

The tools for compassion, the way to kindness and love. New friendships, a greater sense of self and strength all began to surround me. I like this path 2016, I guess this journey isn’t as bad as I thought.

When fall rushed in I found myself full of a renewed energy and confidence in my new self. A deeper knowledge of purpose. Pursuing further the new things I discovered I loved. I pushed myself spiritually. Made creative goals and wild aspirations. I observed my life and future through a wider lens.

Thank you 2016.

So here I am another year in the books, another chapter closed, the pages of life written. Here I am looking towards 2017 with the same ferociousness and hunger I had for its little sister.

Here I am emerging from the trees looking at the path of the year ahead of me. A mystery. Overlooking a great ocean, feeling ready to take the dive into the depths of a new mysterious year. Looking over my shoulder I see the blurred images of lessons, memories, laughter, adventures and tears. All gifts from you 2016. I thank you for each of them.

Deep breath.

Looking out over the horizon at this vast ocean ahead I see only the surface. The color the waves, the sky above. What hides in your depths 2017? What secrets and lessons prowl your deepness? Ancient cities? Mythical battlegrounds? Exciting adventures?

With one more look over my shoulder and a sure smile. I say goodbye to you 2016 we can now depart as old friends.

Deep breath.

“It’s time to jump” The clock calls. I will leap into you willingly 2017 with confidence in the skill to swim that  2016 has taught me.

I hope you all took the year 2016 as an opportunity to learn great lessons in your life. If hurdles crossed your path I hope you overcame them a little wiser. Do not instead, on your misfortune but transform it into the building blocks of a strong and sure path ahead of you.

My greatest lessons of the year 2016? To greet my past, accept it and move forward without shutting out or neglecting any part of me, and that includes my past. It was a difficult year but all difficulties were necessary.

Come on 2017 I am ready for you!

“It is very strange that the years teach us patience - that the shorter our time, the greater our capacity for waiting.”.jpg




  1. You Can Always Start Now | 1st Jan 17

    Happy New Year. Looking forward to seeing where 2017 takes you and to everyone making the most out of it.

  2. Intentergy | 1st Jan 17

    Beautiful sharing of your 2016 adventure! It is wonderful that you found healthy avenues for growth and soundly identified the opportunities that defined this year in your life. Thank you for sharing! Happy New Year!

  3. geminilvr | 1st Jan 17

    Happy New Year – wonderful post – thank you

  4. usathroughoureyes | 1st Jan 17

    Yes, good bye 2016 and it’s countless seen and unseen blessings and hello 2017 and the hope of new blessings.

  5. lakeafton | 1st Jan 17

    Good writing. Happy New Year experiences for 2017!

  6. Lisa Gordon | 1st Jan 17

    What a beautiful post!
    I wish you all of the most wonderful things in the New Year.

  7. live_a_life_less_ordinary | 1st Jan 17

    The concept of putting distance between myself and certain friends has been coming up from many different angles lately. I think this is something I seriously need to think about, although it’s a complicated situation. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Jon | 2nd Jan 17

    Happy New Year! Here’s to new adventures in 2017!

  9. artistbybeauty | 3rd Jan 17

    Great post 🙂 🙂 I really love the quote <3 <3 Have an amazing 2017 dear x x

  10. 7 Self Love Tips for 2017 – ScaleitSimple | 9th Jan 17

    […] this year, some of which I have already shared with you all. However, as we depart from our dear old friend 2016 and look ahead it is important to include bringing more love into our own lives as part of our plan […]

  11. missbritistani | 12th Jan 17

    Lovely writing!!

  12. mywanderwhy | 28th Jan 17

    this is amazing it truly touches me – would you want to take a look at my blog and let me know what you think? I am trying to get my works out there! your feedback would be so kindly appreciated 🙂

    • StephJ | 28th Jan 17

      Absoluly. Thank you for reading.

  13. The Sunflower Child | 1st Feb 17

    This speaks to so much of what I want to portray through writing. You said it so beautifully. Life really is the art of reacting to whatever comes our way. Cheers to you, the past, present and future!

    • StephJ | 2nd Feb 17

      Thank you very much I am looking forward to the year to come.

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