HELLO FROM THE OTHER SIDE.

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Yes, add me to the long list of cliché bloggers who’ve written “hey again” posts titled after Adele lyrics.

It’s been over a year since I wrote on this space, and what a year it’s been. I served my beloved university this past summer as a parent counselor for Camp War Eagle, our orientation program. I traveled to Colorado, Germany, Austria, and India (not all at once). I very randomly made the switch to a plant-based diet. At my mom’s insistence, I finally invested in some curtains for my bedroom.

But most importantly, I hiked to the other side.

Many of you may know how hard my freshman year of college hit me. I didn’t just get knocked down, I was pushed off a cliff and beaten with a baseball bat once I fell to the bottom. For almost all of 2017 and 2018, I was fighting tooth and nail to escape that pit. I was crying and questioning and some days barely breathing. It was slowwwwww, sometimes steady and sure, sometimes not, progress. Then, as 2018 drew to a close and 2019 came closer, there was a change. Something clicked, and I realized: I had made it to the other side of this struggle. After two years of really, really hard work, I could finally wake up and say, “If this is how I feel every day for the rest of my life, I’ll be OK.”

I wish I had the words to express what a precious, precious gift it is to be here. For the first time in two years, I can truthfully say I’m in a good place. The only way I can think of to describe it is to say glory to God and leave it at that.

I all but stopped writing for the past couple years because the Internet just wasn’t a safe or healthy place for me to be authentic. I needed to process things away from the comparison, perfectionism, and vitriol of the screen. But now that I’m in a healthy place of growth and not a panicked one of drowning, the words are flowing again. Ooh man, am I excited about them. I can’t wait to share all I’ve learned in the year since I blogged last. For now, though, I’m going to say goodbye with a hello. Hello from the other side, everyone—there sure is a lot of light over here.