It is currently 5:02pm on the 31st on December of the year 2012. I am writing this in Word so that later I can copy and paste it onto my blog since my grandparent’s house has no wifi. I wanted to reflect on this year. I remember exactly where I was a year ago—at home with Iida, battling with the mixed feeling of my upcoming trip to NYC with the Wylers and feeling as if I should be where I am right now—at Bass Lake with my family. I was very torn, very confused, very tired and very overwhelmed, having just returned from a vacation to south Florida. My skin was sun kissed. My heart was tired. I has just finished one of the longest processes of my life–college applications and I was about to begin another: deciding where I would spend the next 4 years of my life. I remember very clearly that a year ago tomorrow Iida and I were picked up by Emily in her white mini van. We then drove to the Wyler’s home and then to Ohio, where we stayed the night with their family friend’s, where it was “hot—LIKE TEXAS!”

It is so strange—time is. It is a human made trap that we have gotten ourselves stuck in. We only have ourselves to blame for everything, really. I remember all the months of this year very clearly—I could tell you what each if them consisted of. Janurary was our trip to NYC, where my tired mind became alive again and finals and quick walk/runs from the car to West with Iida. Feburary was singing Valentines and pictures during Spanish class. I missed the mid-winter dance because I was visiting colleges in Ohio with Dad. I remember those cold walks to interviews and group discussion questions like they happened yesterday. I remember feeling that I would never find my new home. March was the St. Patrick’s Day extravaganza with all my favorite people and Iida’s trip to California—a foreshadow of the pain to come when she would leave me for longer than a week. Samantha and I told her that everyone had left the party when really they were hiding in her room. The look on her face was priceless. Track started in March as well. I still can’t believe I let myself get dragged into that….again. March most of all though was Rachael and LA and meeting her family and being surrounded by her world and her love. April was more college visits and more track, in those wonderful track warmups. I remember very clearly one race at Mansfield where I slowed down to wait for Samantha, gesturing for her to hurry up, since I had promised to cross the finish line in the dreaded 400 with her. Langer told MK that we’d “be here all night” and there was pottery and contemporary lit and so many memories at West. We seniors at church worked to put on our final mime preformance as a thank you. Tears fell. It was the first of many good byes. May came with all of it’s wonderful weekends—the Color Run, Camping, Prom and something else that now, in this heartbeat of time, I can’t remember. May brought the most impossible decision as well—which college. Where would I go? Shorewood opened and my first heart pounding moment in the guard chair came and went. All of those moments with my Kneesters lift me up when the world presses me down. Then there was June with the Senior Class party and graduation and tears and laughter and family and friends. June was one year since Panama—impossible. The dreaded moment came and went: Iida and I couldn’t let go of each other. Then there was July with Shorewood, Shorewood and more Shorewood. August came with more Shorewood and then the biggest change of the year: my 600 mile journey to Cottey. I will never forget that moment that I stood barefoot with my Kneesters, shoulder to shoulder, in my driveway and we attempted to say the words that will never pass over our lips. It was one of the hardest moments of my life. The walk back into my house to my empty bedroom was one of the longest of my life. September brought classes and LEO and lots of this and that. October brought the fall festival and more laughter, more friends, more essays and tests. More memories at dear old Cottey C. November was the election. I love my voting virginity to Obama and video chatted with my Kneesters as we anxiously watched the polls close. I am so thankful for my right to vote, for what I have elected, for it all. November also brought Thanksgiving, the first I’ve spent not at home—but in a way I was at home since I was with my Cottey family, who have wrapped me in their love ever since I found them and who in this moment, I miss very dearly. December—this month, was finals and Secret Santa and Hanging of the Greens and the horrible trip home and reunions and hugs and screams and Christmas and now.

Now. Isn’t that all that really matters? In some way, it is, but in others it is not. Without all of the things I just listed and so many more, I would not be who I am today. I am thankful for 2012. It has been an amazing year. 2012 has taught me even more so to be independent, that I can survive on my own, that I can find my own family, one that is simply different than my blood one but a family nonetheless. This year has brought me so many new friends and family members and inspirations to learn from and to love, which I am thankful for every day. I have done so many things this year that have formed amazing memories. I have been scared. I have laughed so hard, I cried. I have said many goodbyes, but just as many hellos. And besides, when you love someone—it’s never really goodbye. Perhaps, that is one of the most important things that I learned this year. That distance doesn’t stop love and that love and all it comes with and stands for is all you need to call someone family.

As always, I strive to be better in 2013. One can always be better. I wish to be more patience. To sleep more. To spend more time with the people I love. To forgive easier. I look ahead to this year and I know it too will be filled with many hellos and many goodbyes, with many memories, with pain and joy and laughter and tears. I will venture over seas. I will fly over mountains. I will laugh. I will live. I will love. And that’s all I could ask for.

This world and it’s people never fail to surprise me.

Thank you 2012—for everything. Here’s to many more.


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