Twenty-sixteen has been a tough year. One would think that 30+ years of life experience would have prepared me for what has gone down this year, but no. When I read that 2016 the Chinese would celebrate the Year of the Monkey, my Chinese zodiac animal, I thought, “This the Year of Lucía!” Life thought this is the year Lucía gets screwed.
Twenty-sixteen has been a bitch. From what I have seen on T.V. and read online it hasn’t been a day in the park for the rest of the world. It has been the kind of thing I was expecting in 2012 when the whole Mayan apocalypse was just around the corner.
The first six months were weeks of sleepless nights; hours playing phone tag with mechanics and doctors and more doctors and more mechanics; long work days with sporadic crying breaks in the office bathroom throughout the day; a depletion of my savings and emergency fund; three rental cars and hundreds and hundreds of miles driven blaring classic rock hits in an attempt to liven up my mood.
It all culminated on Father’s day weekend, as I was still recovering from a surgical procedure, when my 2007 Nissan Altima left me stranded half-way between Los Angeles and my parent’s home in San Diego for the 4th time in 5 months – mind you, the car spent one of those months at the mechanic’s garage. I could have sworn the AAA agents and I were on a first name basis by this point. That day I had just enough room on my credit card to rent a car for a few days while I waited for my car’s diagnosis.
A couple nights later, I stared at myself in my bathroom mirror and saw that I had gained weight, my hair was falling out and I was starting to break out in hives. I had had it. After a long long cry, I got out of bed and picked up my notepad and calculator and got planning, listing all the things I had to do to get my life in order again. I looked at my vision board that only 6 months before I had put together with so much hope and aspiration. I looked at every one of the little cut outs covering the flimsy cardboard and as I went from one to the next I thought of how much I wanted every single one of those things even more now. Maybe it was all the Instagram Quotes of the Day bombarding my feed at the time that inspired me but I knew I could not give up. Failure was not an option.
I was at my lowest and I had only one way to go – up.
I could not waste more time on things that were out of my reach to fix and it was time to focus on what I could do. I stopped multi-tasking and began to be mindful of what I am doing and finding it more fulfilling as well as more efficient. I focused on working out again and spending more time outside in the fresh air. I focused on cooking – a hobby I love but had no time for when I sat on my couch feeling sorry for myself. I focused on work and enjoying new music again even when it’s bad. I focused on simple chores – doing my bed, washing the dishes, doing a load of laundry – tasks that made me feel like I accomplished something, simple as they are.
It’s been six weeks since I began my 2016 do-over and I realized one thing these last couple of weeks. It is The Year of Lucía. It is the year I will finally realize that I can overcome any crazy hurdles life puts in my way. It is the year I will learn to be more flexible and trust the timing of life. It is the year I will remember to be grateful each day for what I do have, especially my friendships – that regardless of distance, I have friends I can reach out to even if it was just to talk about our mundane day, enjoy a quick FaceTime happy hour with or send Gilmore Girl revival updates. It will be the year I will learn more about myself than ever before and I will become a better person because of it.
So bring it whatever is left of 2016, I’m ready for you!
Feature Photo: Sarah Andersen. Love her!! Make sure to follow her on Instagram.