My New Year is about BECOMING: a story by former Miss America 2011

Story contributed by Teresa Scanlan, mom, former Miss America 2011, and student.

Okay, completely transparent post here:
2016 was by far the most difficult year of my life so far.
Yet also, as these things often go, if was the most amazing as well.

Turning 23, finishing my time at Patrick Henry College, having a baby in the middle of finals, moving from Virginia to Connecticut, enduring an adulterous marriage and subsequent divorce, becoming a single mom, moving to Nebraska, and starting life over again...

I spent over three months of the year in depression and at least another three becoming angry, bitter, resentful, and vindictive. I became someone I never wanted to be and the precious time I have with Jace was ticking away unnoticed.

Even through the hardships of 2016, my biggest blessing was having my son and moving back to be with my family. Today, in many ways, I feel like I have my life back.

I remember this day one year ago quite vividly. Laying in bed next to him, pregnant, yet feeling a kind of darkness surrounding me. I should have been so happy and excited, yet I couldn't shake the feeling. I couldn't plan for the year or even dream; I felt like I was up against a wall. Without going into unnecessary detail, my marriage was controlling to say the least, so many things I had always wanted to do were "off the table." I tried to write down goals... but nothing would come to me. I tried to decide what I wanted to do and move toward, but I only saw darkness. At the time, I didn't know why and I didn't understand what was wrong until months later.

Today, I have my goals and plans written out once again. I'm actually looking forward to the new year again and feel a passion for life that I thought I lost. These plans are less about doing and having and instead about BEING and BECOMING. I know the person I want to be. I know the kind of mom I want to be. I know I want to be a much different woman than I have been for the past year.

Life is too short to become a victim of circumstances. Life is too wonderful to focus on hardship. And life is too beautiful and God too good to settle for anything less than life lived abundantly!

So here's to a new day and a new year; here's to second chances and here's to new beginnings!



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