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2018 In Review

2018 what a year.

This past year has brought immense change, ranging from my father's life-altering diagnosis in January, to finishing my final semester, and graduating from college. Through this I have developed a knack for surfing the waves of change during times of unknown. Many of my photographs and bits of writing convey optimism and beautiful scenery, but this year hasn't been just that. I have climbed over monumental peaks of uncertainty. My anxious personality was forced to confront the brutal facts, question morality, and cling to any hope that crossed my way. I learned what it means to truly savor the moment and hold deeply to the ones that I love. I cherished every moment spent under the same roof as my family and fully invested in being apart of my parent's team. I was fortunate to bond on new levels with my brother and watch my mom battle through her past to become an empowered advocate and caretaker for my Dad, she is simply amazing.

In the past four years, I have seen both my mom and Dad redefine resilience, poisoning, and radiating their bodies while maintaining an optimistic outlook on life. I have lived through the trauma and fear that cancer creates and prayed every day to take away my parent's pain and stress. I witnessed my Dad take life by the horns while accepting and trusting his faith. I lived by my prayers and dug deeply to overcome my anxiety. I put my trust in the universe and the higher powers that something good will come out of these challenges and the wake of pain. Letting go and investing into my mental health and well being was difficult and at times felt selfish, why am I feeling these things when both of my parents are feeling this one hundred times over? I learned to honor my feelings and prioritize my well being. This past year will change the rest of my life because of what was learned. There are very few things that matter, but the few that do have no price tag, no assigned schedule, no due date, no quota, no grade. They are pure moments and only found in the present and saved in one's memory bank. With every hug, kiss, handhold, letter, and "sweet dreams," I have put all of my love. I have never loved so hard in my life. I have loved every moment and let go of comparing my situation to anyone else. This year blessed me with a challenge that will alter my frame of mind for the rest of my life. I am constantly reminded that nothing is permanent, and that is how it should be. Life is fragile, precious, and unpredictable.

Now, as if my preamble wasn't enough, I look forward to this new year and all of the challenges that will arise, I look forward to the growth and the opportunity ahead. I look forward to growing my love, helping others, and trusting in the universe. I write this as a reminder that no situation is perfect, and no journey is comfortable, everyone, and I mean everyone, is going through something. It's what life is about. Wherever this next year takes us, my wish is that everyone can look back and see how far they have risen and learn to love the challenges that lie ahead.

Here's to 2019, my friends.

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