Farewell, 2011.

I’ve gone through the thoughts behind this post in my head so many times, and have attempted to put all of those thoughts into words multiple times.  Yet, I guess there really isn’t much for me to say, except that 2011 has been a challenging, but incredibly rewarding, year.

In January, I began my last semester of graduate school.  I also got the flu in the first week, and while I sat around feeling like death, I began to think that this was an indicator of what the whole year was going to be like.

When I got into a really bad car accident on March 4, I still believed this year couldn’t get much worse.  I can’t remember much from the moments of that accident.  All I remember is believing that those were my last seconds of life; I sincerely thought I was going to die.  I walked away from the accident with soreness, cuts, and bruises, but otherwise, I was fine.  I have no doubt that someone was watching over me that day, because based on the condition of the car, and the fact that I literally went across three or four lanes of the highway twice, I am lucky that I didn’t get hurt or hit/hurt anyone else.  I learned a lot that day and though I still get really upset when I have flashbacks to that morning, it gave me a renewed sense of appreciation for everything and everyone I have in my life.  And my year also started to turn around.

So here are the highlights of my year in bullet form, for all of those people who don’t like to read long-winded posts:

  • In May, I quit a job I simply worked to pay the bills while I finished my Masters.  I found myself unemployed for the first time in years.
  • In May, I also attended my Masters graduation (and successfully sneaked* out after my name was called, saving me about three hours of my life that I wouldn’t otherwise have), and moved home for the first time since leaving for college.
  • In June, I got my first “real” job out of college.
  • In July, I decided to run a half marathon, and in August, I ran my first half marathon.
  • In October, I ran another half marathon (and ran it about 3 minutes faster!), and also upgraded my registration for Las Vegas to make it a full marathon.
  • In November, I turned 23.
  • And just a few weeks ago, I ran my first marathon.

Scattered in between these bigger moments of the year were some other big personal moments, and a few little ones that maybe aren’t worth writing about.  I guess what I just want to take away from this year is that more than anything else, it has been a year of tremendous growth.  I have come so far from where I was in January, and I’ve learned to challenge myself in new ways and do things that aren’t always comfortable or easy for me.  I can also say that I’ve learned more about myself this past year than ever before, but with that comes the challenge of figuring out what to do with that new knowledge and also determining what I really want out of life.

Truth be told, I’ve felt like a lot has been missing lately.  It’s caused me to make some pretty big decisions, and while it hasn’t been easy, I do feel optimistic about the new year.  Definitely more than I have in previous years.  It also probably doesn’t hurt that 23 is my favorite number (and was my number for field hockey), so I feel like this year of my life is going to be a good one.  And, if all other logic fails, since the world is going to end in 2012, I might as well make it a good year.

Anyway, I hope your year has surpassed your expectations, and that next year brings you incredible experiences, people, and memories.  Happy New Year!

*Snuck is not a word, apparently, but sneaked is?  Weird.

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