2016: A Bold Year in Review
By Kristin Mattera
For most of my adult life the holidays have been tough time of year, and I tend to have moments where I am sad and go down a negative path, feeling stuck or at least not where I thought I would be at this point in my life. But the end of the year is also a great time for reflection, gratitude and an opportunity to recognize the awesome events that have happened over the last few months.
I feel like it is easy (especially for women) to get stuck on the negative, the should-have-beens and completely forget all the good that has happened over the course of a year. I challenge you to make your own list of what you are proud of. What did you do in 2016? How did you find your BOLD?
This year started with a goal of getting out of my comfort zone and do something different with my life. I have had several ups and downs, more failures than I care to count, but also so many more adventures than I had ever been on in my life.
- I tried alpine touring and fell in love with the sport. It was the first time in months I had felt alive after getting my heart broken.
- I travelled to Jackson Hole for a single ski week vacation (the “single” part scared me the most) and skied for four glorious days on terrain I thought I would never touch, lost my ski pants, ended up with stitches and a few good stories.
- I rode a snowmobile through Yellowstone and got up close to a herd of bison.
- I surprised my brother for his 30th birthday and helped him brew beer.
- I finally hit double digit ski days – probably the first time since high school.
- I sat in the front row and balled my eyes out during the play Finish Line: The Untold Stories of the 2013 Boston Marathon because I volunteer at the Finish Line of the Boston Marathon every year, including 2013.
- I had last-minute surgery during my last week of work and days before I moved but it gave me more options in the future.
- I quit my good paying professional job to go work at a dude ranch for the summer. I met the most amazing people there.
- I drove cross country by myself, seeing parts of the country I had only heard about.
- I climbed two 14ers and ran my first half marathon at elevation.
- I went to my first rodeo and now have my own cowboy hat and cowboy boots.
- I drove to Wyoming and back in one day just so I could attend Cheyenne Frontier Days.
- I visited nine national parks, most in a matter of two weeks, including Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Mesa Verde, the Grand Canyon, Zion, and Arches.
- I was jobless and homeless. I lived out of my car and my tent, using the opportunity to travel and explore.
- I drove cross country again (in two days!) with one of my ranch friends and her dog in the backseat. My new record is 17 hours in the car.
- I rode the mechanical bull at the Grizzly Rose and lasted a full 46 seconds.
- I left my home of nine years, moved 2,000 miles to a place sight unseen and made my entire life fit in my car and a 5’ x 10’ storage unit.
The boldest part of all was that I did most of these things on my own. I was lucky to have friends who helped me along the way, but this was truly the year of me finding my strength while flying solo.
I learned how to be okay with making a fool out myself, how to live life without a plan or any real direction and that it is okay for things to not be perfect. I tried to mend a broken heart; I’m not there yet, but I am trying. Overall it was an emotionally challenging year and I’m proud of the fact that for some reason I haven’t completely crumbled. I’m here, I’m scrappy and I can be a force to be reckoned with. I learned to sit with all the feelings I had - happiness, fear, sadness – how to be present in the moment, and most importantly – how to live boldly. Sometimes bold means dealing with all the doubts and fears that exist in your mind, and letting the tears flow when the moment arises. I could have avoided all these things, but instead I decided to take them head on with a wide open heart. And I wouldn’t take any of it back.
I never could have predicted what 2016 would be like, and I don’t dare guess what 2017 will bring. I have hit the reset button on life and the whole world is up for grabs.
Here’s to a new year and finding the bold within!