Track

a long december

Artist

Counting Crows

Album

Accidentally In Love

"A Long December", Counting Crows

Every now and then, we enter into seasons of hardship and pain. Seasons where hope seems to be absent and dark clouds conceal the beauty of life from you. Seasons that come out of nowhere and without warning—and feel like they may never end.

I have had a tough year.

I’ve had many tough years in the past, but right now I am coming to the end of a year that has been particularly difficult. Because it has been a year of growth.

“And the feeling that it’s all a lot of oysters, but no pearls.”

Much of this year has been spent soul searching, realizing who I want to be and what I want out of life. I’ve fought with the voice in my head telling me I’m not good enough, and I’ve fought with people I love and care about. I’ve found that I care too much about the things I shouldn’t care about at all and cared too little for myself. I’ve been selfish, but I’ve also been overwhelmingly accommodating. I’ve felt alone, and I’ve felt betrayed. I’ve felt guilt, and I’ve felt anger. I’ve felt responsible. I’ve battled demons I have known since childhood, believed lies knit into intricate patterns inside my head, and sabotaged my attempts at growth.

This year has been tough.

Don’t get me wrong. A lot of good has come from this year as well. I’ve seen myself achieve things I never thought possible, lifting the weight instead of letting the weight crush me. I’ve welcomed new friends and loved ones into my heart and wake up every morning to a hope that things can be better. I have persevered through this “long December.” I have given my all to the idea of redemption and the idea that good may come of this darkness.

“It’s been so long since I’ve seen the ocean. I guess I should.”

But I’m ready for a new season. I’m ready to pick myself up and move forward. To see the beauty in every day. To breathe in fresh air and be thankful for it. To trust myself and my heart. To believe there is more to life than the ache that is currently wrapped around me.

I’m ready to live in hope and faith and love and thrive on the things that I have been given in life; a loving family, a loyal dog, a bunch of awesome friends, a job that means something, strength, and determination.

“I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell myself to hold on to these moments as they pass.”

A lot has happened this year. I’m not the same person that I was last August, and I will certainly not be the same person an August from now. I’m continuing to grow and change and find myself as a woman, friend, daughter, and sister. And that’s a choice that I am making, regardless of the seasons that may follow.

A lot of tough years probably still lie ahead. But I will continue to choose to search for the joy and hope that each day can bring me. Today, I am thankful for my opportunity to learn these lessons in a group of people that care for me and will hold me up when I can’t do it by myself. I hold these people close to my heart and know that I have been given a great gift.

“And there’s reason to believe, maybe this year will be better than the last.”

These “long Decembers” don’t define us. We are more than the struggles that hold us, and we are more than the lies we tell ourselves. We mean more than that. Let’s hold onto the joy and beauty. We are worth it.

—Holly