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Looking back, 2015 has been a good year to me.

It was the year I finally moved out of home for good, leaving a family that was unhealthy and toxic for me and becoming truly independent from them. I can honestly say I am so much more happier because of it and strangely enough, my insomnia, depression and anxiety has plummeted to new lows.
It was the year I decided to make my dream happen of traveling the world solo for one year, and it is now the number one goal I am embarking on in my life right now.
It was the year I spent my birthday and Christmas not with my family, but with the friends who have become my family. I went skydiving when I turned 23 and truly, it was the happiest experience of my life! Not only did I get an exhilarating rush of adrenaline from it, it also solidified in a very symbolic way my new height of independence and newfound zest for life.
It was also the year I finally opened myself up again to dating in four years, and it was very special for me to realize that I have built a self-worth and self-respect for myself so strong that it can’t be shaken by men who come and go. I realized that I am ready to love again, but this time from a place of stability and self-assuredness.

But if I could surmise my year in one lesson, it is that family isn’t always blood, family is who you choose it to be. Over the years, the circle of friends in my life have shrunken smaller and smaller so that now I have a handful of close, tight-knit friends who I trust with my life and who understand and love me beyond my wildest dreams. They are not only my best friends, they are my sisters and my brothers, my mother and my father. They are there to celebrate my achievements, spend holidays with and they are people I can tell everything to in trust. They are there in my lowest lows to support and uplift me. They accept me for who I am entirely, and even though there are ugly parts of myself, they see and bring out the best in me instead. That’s family. After all, what more is there to it?

It is so important to find people in life who you can journey with. Sometimes it means doing the painful work of untying bonds that were once inseparable. Sometimes it means loving them from a distance. Sometimes its both. Even if they are blood family. What I know for sure is that having people in your life who nourish and support you is of utmost priority. Life is uncertain and can often be hard, but the family who ride it out with you are forever.

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