2016 changed my life in more ways than I can probably comprehend.
I’ve taken some time away from social media, including my blog, to focus on family and myself. But it’s 2017 and I’m back. While I still have a lot going on in my life, it’s time to get back to blogging. After all, the whole reason I started this was to give myself an outlet.
In January, I started the second semester of my second year in law school. But more importantly, my Grandma Mary passed away.
I got a call at work saying she had been rushed to the hospital and I should hurry home (an hour away from where I work). I stayed the whole night with my mom and grandpa until she finally passed around 5am the next morning.
I thought this would be the worst pain I would feel this year…clearly I was wrong.
In March my sister got married!! It was a long time coming, let me tell you. Her and my brother-in-law have been together for over 14 years and have my adorable niece together. My sister planned the wedding by herself and it was held at the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park in Escondido, CA. It had an animal/pirate/adventure/Indiana Jones vibe to it. It was truly a beautiful wedding!
In May, I started dating the love of my life, Bret. We’ve known each other for 12 years and have had a crush on each other since we met in middle school. It took him 12 years to ask me out on a date. I knew from the moment I stepped inside his house and watched him make me dinner that he was the one for me. When you know, you know.
In June I said goodbye to my internship. From August 2015 to June 2016, I worked as a legal intern for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This was, by far, the greatest job I’ve ever had. Not because I got to work at the stadium and go to games, but because of the experience I gained. I learned more in this job than I have in law school. It made me realize that school only teaches so much and a job teaches you the rest.
From about the end of April to the end of July, I spent every spare moment making a costume for the San Diego Comic Con. My groups theme was Star Wars! We had Rey, older Luke, Maz, BB-8, three Queen Amidalas, and three assassins who tried to kill her. We were a band and our costumes were re-imagined versions of Queen Amidala and the assassins. We performed at Masquerade in front of thousands of people.
It was also during this time that I realized you really need to be careful when using a heat gun…it burns…
In August I started my final year of law school. It’s crazy to think that this journey is almost over. It seems like the first two years of law school flew by. Now I have to actually think about taking the bar and looking for jobs (insert the Home Alone face here).
NOVEMBER & DECEMBER
I seems like just yesterday that my sister called to tell me my dad died. I figured my life would have adjusted to my new normal after his funeral, but it hasn’t. There are still days I wake up in the morning and have to remind myself my dad is gone.
Grey’s Anatomy is one of my favorite shows and I started to rewatch it again from the beginning hoping it would cheer me up. I recently watched the episode where George O’Malley’s dad passes away. George and Christina have a conversation where she tells him her dad had died when she was a kid. He tells her, “I don’t know how to exist in a world where my dad doesn’t.” Christina responds with, “Yeah, that never really goes away.”
It’s funny because that is exactly how I feel. I’m still struggling to find a way to exist without him being just a phone call away.
Growing up, I saw my dad as the guy who talked a lot, told stories nonstop, taught me how to throw a baseball and ride a bike, and took me golfing every weekend so I wouldn’t lose my swing. But, I had never realized how much of an impact my dad had on others until his funeral.
There were people there I had not seen since I was a kid: grown-up kids that my dad had coached in little league, old friends who were integral in my dad’s life when he moved to Vista, neighbors who are like extended family, and the people from church my dad would talk to after the church service.
I was overwhelmed.
I have never been so grateful to see these people in my life.
If you are reading this and you were there: thank you. Because of you, your love, and your support, I was able to make it through that day. You made it a celebration of his life, not a funeral. You told me stories about what my dad meant to you. You helped, and in this time where life seems a little more fragile, I am eternally grateful.
There is one thing I have to say to 2016, and it’s this:
You were my challenge year. 2016 challenged me and made me grow in so many different ways. I don’t feel like the anxiety-ridden, constantly depressed young girl I had started 2016 as. I am confident, I am strong, and I am resilient. I don’t cower in a corner afraid to talk to people I deem to be out of my league (whether in the workplace or socially). I feel like part of me has been renewed, and I blame my dad. Part of me thinks he left me a part of him when he died, the social butterfly part.
2016 sucked. It’s something everyone keeps saying and I agree. This has been one of the worst years of my life, but it has also been one of the most rewarding.
2016 is that friend that you dislike but are secretly thankful for because it reminds you of all the life lessons your parents tried to teach you (and finding out they were right).
Goodbye, 2016. We won’t meet again and I am very happy about that.