This year has been hideously rough on my family. Between death and attacks on the integrity of our family unit, cultivating a thriving life as a family unit has been strained and fractured. It’s incredibly frustrating that outsiders can have such a deep impact on a family, but the sad reality is that some times other people can — and do — have power over us. The question is whether or not we let them exert that control over our lives and allow them permission to derail our plans and our dreams. The answer? We don’t. We press on. We show them who we are, what we’re made of, and how strong we are. I haven’t given up hope that we can salvage this year. I haven’t given up hope that the truth will prevail. I haven’t given up hope, and I won’t give up hope. Try as they may, my spirit cannot be broken. They will need to physically break me in order to stop me from nurturing myself, my family, and my dreams. I, too, have power — and I choose to use it wisely and responsibly. I could have easily abused my power earlier in the year, but I’ve chosen to let life unfold the story instead. I’ve chosen to keep the story to a limited few. I’ve chosen to continue practicing happiness and gratitude, cultivating life in spite of the challenges placed before me. I will continue to do so until the fight is over because that is the caliber of my character. I don’t quit — especially not when it comes to my family.