Well here we are in 2012, which according to the Mayans will be the last one. No I don't fall into that crazy thinking, but who knows really? :) Anywho this is the time of the year when we have a whole brand new year ahead of us and we reflect upon the previous year. I am just as guilty as the rest of you about doing this, I just choose to put it down on a blog for all of you to read!
So what was 2011 to me? Well part of it was really, really, really crappy (the month of October to be exact) and part of it was really, really good (November and December). Part of it was kind of self inflicted loneliness/recuperation (summer) and part of it was a lot of stress (first semester).
This last year saw me making big decisions with my life and temporarily ending some friendships that were unhealthy for me to be around (thankfully I recovered and we're as close as ever). I spent the academic year of 2010-2011 with so much going on that by the time May rolled around I couldn't be around anyone, so I wasn't. I spent the summer lounging in my pool all by myself. I only had people over to swim three times all summer. It was wonderful. I am, by nature, an introvert and those nine months completely and totally wore me out physically, emotionally and spiritually. I needed some "me" time. I think a lot of my friends didn't really understand what was going on with me, and frankly until the last week or so I didn't either, but I knew that it was what I needed.
As 2011 left us I realized that I have 33 out of 36 hours of grad school completed, two years ago I didn't even know I would. In 2011 I was asked to be a committee chair for Junior League (in my first active year) and was chosen to be the Community Vice President on the Board of Directors for 2012-2013. I spent a lot of time at CrossTimbers, mainly doing stuff with a crazy, yet amazing youth group. I have reconnected with old friends and spend a lot of time with them now, which is amazing.
Several tragedies struck this year, including losing two people that I never met that greatly impacted me and losing two that I knew very well.
I conquered some things that I don't know if I could have done before. The main one was taking a week long vacation by myself, which was amazing. I made all the plans and flew all by myself. I navigated NYC by myself for the most part and in the dark (which terrified me before). I managed to make my way to DC from NYC (though I did some planning help on that one). It was a trip that was all about experiences and I had plenty of them. I had to step out of my shell a lot and usually I'm pretty cozy in there, so I'm glad that I did it. A lot of things got marked off my bucket list and made me grow as a person. I am so thankful to the people that helped with that.
I came to the realization this year that while I have an amazing life I need to work on having a bit less structure. I function well with structure, so it is hard to let go of that. I spent an amazing evening in my hometown, of all places, last spring that had no agenda and it was amazing. NYC and DC followed that pattern as well as being shipwrecked at home for a few days last week. I think I have realized over the last year just how important my high school friends are to me. It's not that I don't value my college or adult friends, but there is something true and pure about the people that knew you at that age. We spent so much time together and knew each other so intimately. I find it so reassuring that I can be with them and it is as if nothing has changed and we are 16 again.
This last year I realized that as much as I say I hate it I'm really glad that I grew up where I did and when I did. I have valuable friendships that have lasted through everything you can imagine being thrown at them and contacts that will help with my future.
And about the future. I turned 30 this year and convinced myself that what I needed out of life was to pick up and move to New York. While that would be wonderful and something I would like to do temporarily still I realized that it won't solve anything. Last year (2010) I read Eat, Pray, Love. I know a lot of people that read it and didn't really like it. I will be the first to admit it was a hard read, however I totally understand it. I think I have gotten to the point of understanding pleasure and understanding spirituality and responsibility, but I'm still working on balancing the two. I tend to be go, go, go and feel like my life has to be booked solid, all the time, but what I then realize, when I get a few moments free, is that I really, really hate that. I still haven't figured out where the balance between structure and free spirit comes, but I know it is something that I need to work on and strive for. I know I cannot just not have a job and travel the world all the time, that's not how life works, however it seems that it is when I am most happy. The question becomes how do I do both? I'll be honest, I don't know, but I'm working on it.
For many, many years I have had a feeling about 2012. I truly think this is going to be the most amazing year and I think the things that happened in 2011 have set it up that way. I'm kind of curious about the post I will write a year from now (assuming the Mayans were wrong, of course). Where will I be and what will I be doing? For some reason I think it is going to be totally different than where I am now...