Taking a few minutes to look back on the year that's about to end, there are, in fact, way more than six things that I'm grateful for. But for the sake of simplicity, here are my Top 6. What were yours?
1. Travel Writing
I started 2019 with a strong desire to travel and write about it in the Have Kid, Will Travel blog. As I get ready to close the year, I’m grateful for having achieved this goal! On Year Two of the blog, I refreshed the overall look of it, incorporated affiliate links to start generating passive income (thank you for clicking on the links that are of interest to you!) and wrote a total of 18 posts, including this one.
2. France Trip
While June and I spent a good deal of time in Mexico, we also took off for an amazing summertime adventure in France – and that’s another thing I’m extremely thankful for. It gifted us with many great moments together and provided plenty of ideas and inspiration for new blog content.
3. June's Development
I have to say that I'm really happy that June got to have this time in Mexico. She was able to attend an international school surrounded by people from different countries and cultural backgrounds. She’s now speaking fluent Spanish and is familiar with many of Mexico’s traditions. She's made great friends and flourished into a loving and giving person that motivates me to be the best person I can be and constantly reminds me of the things that truly matter in life. Being close to family in Mexico has had an important impact on her, too, and I know that the ties that she’s established here will be an integral part of who she becomes in years to come.
4. Healing Myself
I can’t say that being close to family was that easy for me. I realize now that all these years living in the U.S. were, in fact, my hiding place. I ran away 20 years ago and I hadn’t really faced any of the things that drove me away back then in the first place. All the sadness that I carried buried deep down eventually caught up with me. As a result, I spent years medicated on antidepressants while trying to fix my issues through therapy. And yet, I didn’t quite get to the root of my unhappiness. It took coming back to Mexico to shell-shock myself into looking at my long-lasting depression and anger right in the eye. I wasn’t expecting the internal and external turmoil that entailed. There were moments that I thought I’d lose my mind, and if you ask my family, I’m sure they’ll say I came pretty close!
Being back in Mexico woke up something inside me, telling me that if I wanted to truly understand and overcome my issues, I was going to need to get off the medication and start looking at things for what they really were. It was time to start feeling again.
When you begin waking up from the induced state of numbness that medication puts you in, everything you feel gets intensified. You feel out of control. Overreactive. Overwhelmed. It’s a process that takes time, patience, a conscious effort, and lots of self-awareness. It requires learning to be in the moment, present and aware of every feeling and thought that crosses your mind. Sometimes you succeed and sometimes you fail, big time.
My healing process has involved all of the above. Also, plenty of reading and learning about mindfulness, manifesting, changing negative beliefs, and living with gratitude and faith. It's been a personal journey of discovery and growth. And one that I'm very grateful for.
5. Family Ties
Strengthening the family bonds that were either broken or that were not in the best place to start with, has also been a work in progress. As the year ends, I feel that I’ve gained a better understanding of the impact of old family relationships in my life. I’m learning to accept my past as part of who I am as an adult. I’ve started to finally forgive and cure old wounds, and to make space for new and better things. I’m still far from being where I want to be but I do feel stronger and more at peace than I did months ago. And that fills my heart with gratitude and hope.
6. Good Friends
Whether in Mexico, in France or back in the U.S., we felt supported and loved by new and old friendships. Our friends carried us through stressful times, cheered us up when we were down, joined us in fun day trips and adventures, shared both laughter and helping hands, reminded us that everything is going to be okay, and so much more. We all need good friends to make it through this life and I'm grateful for each and every one of my awesome friends.
Looking forward to the New Year about to begin, I'm excited about the new possibilities ahead of us. I didn't even know I could do some of the things we accomplished in 2019, but we did, and I'm grateful for deciding to take the first step, and then the next one, and the next one. Things are about to change again, and as we get ready to move into new terrain, I'm embracing these new changes full of faith and gratitude, knowing that I have everything I need to create the life I want for me and June.