2016 changed my life forever. Let’s start off fresh, it’s a new year and I want you to know me more. Honestly, I wanna know me more. The basics: I’m Dianna Hughes, I'm a mom, a blogger, a friend, and an imperfect person. Going into 2016 I thought I was a good person, I thought I had my things together, I was over a 10 year long relationship with my ex husband and I had a new job, I owned a house, I paid my bills and I thought things were going to be better, I was going to be happy,  and I was happy for a bit. I was traveling with my job to places I wouldn’t have dreamed of and I pursued a relationship with a man that loved me more than I knew. I was happy. Things seemed to finally make sense. Not realizing, that I was the problem. 

You see in my short life, I was always spoiled. I was never really told "no" and I have always been the one to cause the hurt never the one on the receiving end. My dad spoiled me when he was alive, my mom still spoils me. I’ve always been a hard-worker so the things I pursued usually went well because I gave it my all. My life seemed pretty cookie cutter. I didn’t realize how much of a not so great catch I actually was. My ex-husband was a great guy, he had morals and values and came from a  good family. His family was there for me when my dad passed away from cancer and I really fell in love with God through them. Things happened, people change, hearts ache and years later I left that lifestyle, his family and church. It was too a very hard time in my life but I was a different person and that was no longer for me. Getting through that wasn’t easy, leaving my husband of so many years was my choice but ultimately I did many things to hurt him along the way and that too was me causing the pain and not receiving it. 

& then I met him. He was different, he didn’t want a relationship or anything but a good time, I wanted to show him that a relationship with me was a good time. We fell in love so quickly and it seemed endless. I thought that things couldn’t get better and they did. They always seemed to get better. He was truly my best friend and we seemed to just ‘get’ one another. We supported each other’s dreams and actively worked with one another to help pursue those dreams. I don’t think anyone ever believed in me the way he so unapologetically did. He knew I was going to be great before I even knew what I wanted to do. He taught me to be free in myself, in my love and in my life. I never felt that sense of freedom before him. He gave me the courage to be me and always told me that nobody’s opinion mattered as long as I was happy. He loved my daughter and inspired me to be a better mom. He was my family. 2016 was LIT because I loved a man that SET MY SOUL ON FIRE. I’ve never been so fully connected to anyone both mentally and physically as I was with Joel. We experienced so much in just a simple year. He didn’t have much at the time but he was always much more than enough. 

Unfortunately, I wasn’t. 

They say you have to love yourself before you can possibly love another. I think I really believed I loved myself. I thought I was a good person and I thought I had good intentions why wouldn’t I love myself? I’m learning the hard way that I struggle with self love, self acceptance and most importantly self forgiveness. After a year of such a great love with the man of my dreams we ended our relationship because of my issues. I messed up and hurt him, I broke him... I am not a perfect person and I have so much to work on but hurting someone you love is definitely the most trialling of all. Knowing the man I love hurts because of me, the person he thought he loved, it cuts deep. 

I’ll never say Joel was my ‘lesson’, yes I learned so much from this breakup but he wasn’t just a lesson to me he was and still is the very best part of me. 

People have told me that time heals all, that I’ll be ok. You’ll find happiness again, they say. I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching and I’ve decided that the only happiness I want is to be happy with me. I wanna know myself and love myself and be free in myself.

2016 was lit because I loved a man that put a fire in my soul and 2017 will stay lit because I will never let that fire burn out. I will for always be in love with him regardless of my relevance in his life. He will always be my person.