I had high hopes for 2017. In some ways, I am left sorely disappointed, but in other ways I am at peace with the chaos this year brought. We’ve been lovingly referring to 2017 as a transition year. And as we all know, transitions take time, patience and a lot of hard work. These transition years are the ones that offer growth (and boy have we grown)!
Travis graduated in July with his Master’s in Geosciences from Idaho State and was able to come home and start working right away! His job isn’t anywhere near his career path, but it’s a job, and we both feel very grateful that he landed something right away! Something I love about Travis is his willingness to always work hard. He never gives up. Travis does everything humanly possible to make sure his family is taken care of.
Beckham started preschool this year and he absolutely loves it. My only wish is that he could go everyday! He loves his classmates and teachers, and talks about them all the time. He teaches Travis and I about the discoveries he makes, and the songs and rules he learns at school with pride!
As for me, 2017 was a crazy rollercoaster. I struggled being away from Travis for a large part of the year. Anxiety and depression were my constant companions that ruthlessly plagued me day and night. I managed to work two days a week during that time, but even that was a major chore for me. The anxiety was debilitating, but I persisted! I sought the help of a counselor who strongly believed it was entirely situational and would be resolved once the long distance situation was over.
After Travis graduated and returned home it took me about two or three months to feel somewhat normal again. I slowly started to enjoy the things I used to, like socializing, going to the gym and being a mother. Such simple things! I began to take on more responsibilities willingly and cheerfully. I started cooking again, which I have always loved to do. My life became less about only taking care of the essential things, and more about enjoying the moments as they come. It was such a beautiful time that I will never take for granted again.
Mere weeks after Travis graduated, I attended a writing conference on a partial scholarship in Port Townsend, and it completely changed my life. I grew as a writer and as a person. With my newly expanded horizons I started writing about things that I had never written about before. I started exploring different parts of myself and truly learned what makes me, ME! A small flame of self love ignited, which I hadn’t felt in months due to those devilish companions that weighed heavily on my shoulders. Ultimately, this year has made me feel more human than ever–full of faults, but even more hopeful. It made me realize how much I need the people in my life.
We, as humans, fail each other all the time. And while the sting of that failure penetrates deeper with the more intimate relationships we form within our families and inner circles, it doesn’t change the fact that we need each other. We need each other’s support despite our many, many shortcomings. We need each other to be understanding and non-judgmental when we fail over and over again. This life isn’t about living shiny and perfect, it’s about getting our hands dirty and our hearts hurt so we can love harder, learn more and be better. 2017 has proven that to me. We’ve jumped over quite a few hurdles this year, and for what it’s worth, I’m grateful for them.
The Helm family has SO MUCH to look forward to in 2018. Our careers are budding and our hearts are overflowing with love for each other. We are unified in our efforts of creating the best life possible. One that is full of joy, laughter and genuine, unfiltered relationships. We send all of our love to our family and friends for this upcoming New Year!
Photo Cred: Jordan Chames Photography