As summer comes to an end I have found my way back to my computer. 2016 has not been my year. 2016 has been filled with turmoil, sadness, grief and anxiety. There have been beautiful and joyful moments, don’t get me wrong, but overall this year has been the hardest I have faced.

This happens in life, right? Life is made of ups and downs and sometimes the downs last a long while. Oftentimes the storm lasts one day and other times you’re trying to see the sun 9 months later. The point is that you stay hopeful regardless.

This is me staying hopeful. This is me learning to be resilient. I keep thinking about wasted time. I am haunted by wasted days. Days eaten up by shedding an unnecessary tear, by arguing a meaningless fight, by worrying a over an irrelevant situation. This year I have spent hours on end with my stomach in knots of uncertainty. Where I once felt confidence, assurance and optimism, I now feel endless ambiguity. This change has left me tired and pessimistic.

I keep spending time mad at myself for letting this year take my joy and I have to let that go. If anything, my experiences this year can be seen as an opportunity to grow, a chance to become closer to God, whom I often lean on, and a time to truly focus on the good in life.

Have you ever heard the saying that the way to quiet your fears are to name your blessings? Trying times are exhausting but that is one way to keep things in perspective. It could be worse, it could be unbearable and for some people it is.

Through this year I have learned to deal with heartache, with situations that just don’t make sense, with feelings of indifference and with the inevitable trials that, frankly, weren’t part of the damn plan.

I have learned (read: barely) resilience. I think this year I have been shocked that times are not always great. Bad times come and they go and sometimes, they stay.

I know I am not alone in this rut, so many people all over the world deal with hardship. From the death of a loved one to a year in that uncomfortable grey fog of life, we have all been there and the good news is we all will survive.

So that is where I have been, in the grey. Tangled up in the uncertainty that comes with life’s ebbing tide.