Dear Thirties,

You almost killed me.

I forgive you though because you only made me stronger, but damn, you really almost took me out. And you seemed to last much longer than any of the previous decades of my life, especially the last couple of years.

I appreciate you for everything you’ve done for me. While there were many disappointments, major setbacks and loss, there was also much laughter, progress and infinite chances to get it right and move forward.

And all I want to do now is move forward. Happy. Authentic. Alive.

Me, celebrating my way into a new decade!

Me, celebrating my way into a new decade!

You taught me that I am stronger than I thought, stronger than I appear.

You deepened my faith, trust and relationship with God.

You tested me, challenged me, disciplined me when I was wrong and praised me when I got it right.

In many ways you were the best and worst.

Now I get to practice one of the biggest lessons of all: letting go.

I forgive and release all of the negative experiences you brought that I believed were there to hurt me. Now I know they strengthened my foundation and built my character.

I release the frustration of not getting everything I wanted when I thought I should. It taught me patience in a time when I wasn’t ready anyway.

And even though I’m glad to see you go, it doesn’t mean I don’t cherish you. I wouldn’t be where I am now, if not for you. But I’m looking forward to bigger and better things, the very things you prepared me for. And in spite of our love-hate relationship, I really do have love for you. Thank you for setting me free.