2017 is coming to an end. What does that mean? It’s tough to say in the grand scheme of things, but at the end of every year, I take into account the events of my life and prepare for next year with the lessons I’ve learned.

2017 wasn’t perfect, but all things considered, it was a damn good year. I got to travel, see some incredible Broadway shows, met new people, and made some incredible memories.

My girlfriend Amanda and I, over the course of the year, grew closer and closer with each month, and our love for each other has grown deeper through both good and not so good experiences. The memories we made this year, from our anniversary in Hershey Park to Broadway shows to just sitting down and watching a movie, are ones to cherish, and undoubtedly more are to come.

After years of barely getting by with finances, I finally achieved some success in sales; not big money, but enough to buy my family gifts for Christmas and take my girlfriend on some unforgettable excursions, including a gorgeous trip to Hershey Park for our one-year anniversary. I felt proud and accomplished and expect more good fortune going into 2018.

I reconnected with old friends and made new ones; some of my most memorable times with my Kappas came this year, and I got to meet many of Amanda’s wonderful friends as well. A lot of new and exciting people entered my life this year.

It wasn’t all good. This was the first year of the Trump Presidency, which as expected has been an unmitigated source of stress and fear in regards to civil rights and nuclear war. We lost more notable artists unexpectedly and at a rapid pace; two in particular being among my favorite musicians and thus hitting me hard: Chris Cornell in May and Tom Petty in October. And on a personal level, my uncle Rollie passed away in October, leaving a giant hole in my family; uncle Rollie had been a constant since the day I was born, at every holiday and family gathering imaginable. Losing him was understandably hard.

All that said, 2017 was by and large one of the best years in recent memory. I look forward to many blessings in 2018, and am willing to accept the challenges that will get me there.

Love to all.

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