The Season 15 Bachelorette took to Instagram Monday to reflect on her engagement and major life lessons she gleaned from that day and afterwards. Her photo showed her looking out at the water in Crete before her final Rose Ceremony.
She began, "Ever look back on a memory and it feels like just yesterday... but also like a different life? Me too. Exactly a year ago today. I remember that day. I don’t like staying there for too long, but I remember it really well. I remember thinking, 'Oh, this has all the makings to be the best day of my life...but gah, it doesn’t feel like I thought it would.'"
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Hannah revealed what ran through her mind and her gut feelings before the proposal. She wrote, "I didn’t have words (or maybe I just didn’t have the courage to say them?) but the pit in my stomach was screaming, 'this ain’t it' (funny how sometimes it’s the people around you that help you articulate your feelings better than you can). I could fake a smile but I couldn’t shake the doubt, and looking back, I know why. That ending was not easy, but it was necessary to get me here."
The 25-year-old even shared some advice she wishes she could’ve given herself a year ago. She opined, "I would whisper, 'It’s going to be ok. You’re right, this ain’t it, but it‘s the direction. So open up your hands, and let go of the control. Trust this process, it’s going to be worth it. Also, nice butt!'"
Hannah offered the same wisdom to anyone else reading her post who could be feeling similarly. She expressed, "Hold on. Keep moving. You’re going to make it. This ain’t it but what’s coming is so much better."
She concluded her post, "Sometimes you’ve gotta walk through the shadows to stand in the sun. And trust me, you’ll really appreciate the way it feels shining down on you, too."
Hannah wears her heart on her sleeve, and she's explained many times that what we see is what we get with her. For instance, she told People in December, "I feel like a lot of people that have been in similar situations as I have, reality TV stars, you can make a packaged version of yourself if you want to. I just don’t work that way. I can’t do it. I can’t pretend that I’m happy or pretend to get emotional when I’m not."
She admitted she wishes she "would have protected my heart a little more," but also feels that "human connection is so worth it."
The "Dancing with the Stars" reigning champion risked her heart once again when she made two appearances on Peter Weber's season of "The Bachelor." She showed up the first night to hand him back his pilot wings, and again the host a group date about sharing sex stories. That reunion turned into a tearful conversation on both sides about their past, why Hannah chose Jed, and why he wishes she contacted him after the finale.
She told Peter about sending him home in Greece after their Fantasy Suite date, "My heart was very confused. I don’t know what the f--k I was doing. I question what I should’ve done, and I question a lot."