I have been working on this post, bit by bit, for the past few weeks. Initially I thought about typing this post on December 30th in order to have it published on New Year's Eve...but I wanted to leave room for remaining lessons or realizations to reveal themselves.

By December 9, 2014, I'd written a list of 8 things that I'd learned over the year:
1. Sometimes people can come into your life and stay for multiple seasons. It may seem as if they are meant to stay for a "lifetime" but eventually "forever" doesn't seem attainable with them anymore. If a time comes when either party wants to let go, maybe its better to allow the flow of life to happen. Everything or everyone that comes into our life isn't meant to stay permanently. 
2. It is safe to be open [to date, I consciously give myself permission].
3. Sometimes the one thing you said that you'd never allow to happen, happens. IT WILL BE OKAY. 
4. Your hope didn't leave just because you've experienced a few, okay A LOT, of setbacks and disappointments. It's still within you. Nurture it.
5. Give yourself a break. You don't always have to be plugged in or available to others. 
6. Be grateful for what AND who you currently have in your life. Cherish them. How can you appreciate more when you consistently bypass what is in your present life? 
7. Love is much more than having a romantic partner. Don't reduce her to society's definition. 
8. And...if you cannot trust someone emotionally, mentally and spiritually then you are not obligated to share your body with them. True enough, energy vampires are real but sometimes it's not that your energy can be drained. Sometimes your energy can be changed depending on who you let in. Protect your peace. Protect your space. Protect your love. Protect your energy.
I'm at a place where the things that truly hurt and angered me the most almost feel like a blur. It's not that I can't remember them but more so, my growth has become more fascinating. The girl that I was in January 2014 is NOT the same WOMAN that I am in December 2014. Sometimes it feels weird, actively feeling and knowing that a change has taken place in me. I'd been so used to holding on to the teenaged version of myself that I didn't know what it felt like to LET GO and step into the role of being a woman. I'm still learning but the difference between then and now is that I'm open to the experience instead of being fearful, or stubborn. The next few weeks may or may not be superbly interesting but for the lessons to come, thank you in advance anyway. I appreciate you.