This past year changed me forever. I was so broken after my dad's death that I really couldn't think of the future or anything for a while. Losing my dad in the physical form was the hardest thing I have dealt with so far in my life, but also one of the most significant in helping me grow. I have spent the better part of the last 12 years of my life traveling with my dad and hearing him lecture, always taking away some new wisdom. I have to admit these past few months were the first times where I have truly lived his words. Grief doesn't let you escape, you can numb it if you want, but it will still be there when you are done escaping. I was grateful to feel so much sadness because it made me realize how lucky I was to have loved someone that much. I knew that I could handle anything after that, I had no more fear. My heart is so much bigger now, there is so much light inside of me, and the empathy I thought I felt became only stronger. I hope that all of you feel love and happiness in 2016 and every year after. And if you are facing adversities remember something my dad used to say, "It's not about being the best, it's about being better than you were before. Happy New Year!