To You,

A new year, a clean slate. The first day of the rest of your life. Time for change, resolutions and goals. People are challenging themselves to make this the best year of their lives.

There are a lot of things you could do differently this year. There are new trips to set, new people to meet, new memories to make. There are higher standards you could hold yourself to. You could read more, volunteer more, eat less pizza and drink more water. New year, new you – etc., etc.

With the new year and all the ways you could be different, there are so many things I hope you never change.

There are so many hopes I hope for you this year:

I hope you keep your heart open. In a world filled with cynics and haters, players and cheaters – I hope you keep hoping. I hope you keep loving. I hope you keep believing.

I hope you give yourself credit. With all the insecurities you allow yourself to believe, all the defeat you’ve seen and all the heartache you’ve been through, I hope you give yourself credit for being so strong. You should be proud of the things you’ve been through, because you got through them. Stand tall, be proud of yourself. Give yourself credit. 

I hope you love yourself a little more every day. It amazes me the way you love others. The way you put yourself second to those hurting around you. The way helping them heal, helps you heal. If only you would love yourself the way you love those around you, your heart would be full – regardless of how broken and damaged it seems.

I hope you keep smiling. Your smile is one of your most beautiful and captivating features. Your laugh is infectious. You light up the room. Keep smiling.

I hope you enjoy the moments. Celebrate the path you’re on. Enjoy where you are, with who you’re with. It’s easy to put yourself on a timeline. You do not need to be married because your friends are. You do not need to be single because your friends are. You do not need to have kids, or not have kids because of what your family says or because your friends have or haven’t had them. You do not need to be or do anything other than the things on your current path. Do not put yourself down because you, ‘aren’t where you thought you would be’ at the age you’re at now. Enjoy the moments.

Most of all, I hope you allow yourself the happiness you deserve. You’re so kind and genuine. You always do whatever it takes to make those you love, and everyone around you, happy. You pray for the happiness of others. How about letting yourself be happy? How about you acknowledge you deserve happiness, too? I hope you learn you do deserve to be happy and happiness will find you – you just need to believe in it. 

With all the things you could do different this year, I hope you realize all the things you shouldn’t change.

Don’t forget to love yourself this year, for who you are and where you’re at in your life, on your own timeline.

Wishing you love and happiness in 2017!

– The Dalema. December 31, 2016. 

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