It always feels like time flies when it comes time to ring in the new year. Usher in the next chapter. Start over once again.
I lay out all the memories on the table in front of me. I remember sitting on the edge of pinnacle mountain on the first day of this year with his arm around me thinking that this was how I was starting it and this is how I wanted to end it. So much life has happened since then. I remember the days I had all the motivation in the world and the days when I was hanging by a thread.
On February 22nd, I was accepted to the World Race. I remember running through the parking lot and jumping into his arms like a scene straight out of a movie. On March 21st, I stood on the Great Wall of China and let the mountains make me feel like a speck on the surface of this earth. On April 15th, I danced the night away with my best friends at my senior banquet and exactly one month later, I walked across the stage into adulthood with a diploma in my hand. I got voted “Most Changed” and I’ll never know for sure if it was purely because of hair color and weight loss. What if I made better grades or played more sports or loved harder? I’ll never know. 10 days later, I turned 18 and I remember waking up and not feeling any older. That night is the 3rd biggest regret of my life. I spent the summer searching for what fills my soul with the girl I had barely spoken to in school, but had, as of late, found myself sharing secrets with. In June, he moved away and in July, I chose boys instead of Jesus. I lost my first and only job. I let strangers tell me who I was supposed to be. I gave up on the One who never gives up on me. I learned what it looks like to underestimate pain. I learned what happens when you realize that you’re the vicious kind of broken instead of the poetic kind. The kind of broken that should logically separate you from a holy, perfect God.
In the fall, I went to training camp and met people who would soon become the most important people in my life. In September, I shared clothes and coffee with Liz and I realized that the other half of my heart had been living in California my whole life. In October, I moved out of my house for the first time in my life. In November, I colored my hair because blonde was no longer equivalent to beautiful and I didn’t need to be pretty to be seen. I celebrated Thanksgiving sitting around a table with girls who fight for what they believe in. In December, I looked into the eyes of really really bad people and dug into myself for some piece of me that could love them in the midst of who they really were. The only thing I found was no rights to throw the first stone.
I saw all 4 oceans this year. Some from airplane windows and some from underneath my feet.
I got accepted to 6 colleges and attended none of them.
I saw both sunrises and sunsets and took the time to appreciate both.
I learned the secret of happiness and it’s iced coffee with cinnamon and whole milk.
I became part of a community that believes in something bigger than itself and chases it with everything in them.
I decided that I am, alone, unqualified to define the width and depth of my own worth.
It was the year of giving up and getting back up. Finding the courage to feel the pain of a broken heart and finding the strength to not let it consume me. Letting people in. Letting people go. It was the year of my first tattoo. And my second. And my third. It was the year of being within and without, seeing the world from both sides of the bottle and deciding whether or not I wanted my glass half full or half empty. Admitting my brokenness. It was the year of lots of pictures and lots of losses. Calling a new place home for the first time. I climbed volcanoes and jumped off waterfalls. I was a part of something that brought Kingdom to pimps and hippies and little nuggets. I saw the view from the top and it took me twice as long as I thought it would to decide if the journey was worth it. I sat in a circle of people the night before I graduated high school and told them to stop refusing to jump puddles for people who didn’t jump it for them. I told them to cross oceans for people no matter what. All people.
I sat in a lot of coffee shops and opened my Bible to see Jesus instead of rules. I read lots of literature and I over analyzed text messages more than a few times. I became a vegetarian and learned what it felt like to stand up for something I believed in. I left love letters all over my hometown for strangers to find because I was inspired by the gem of a book written by a rockstar from New England. I decided that from now on, I don’t shave my legs if I don’t feel like it. I wrote out my whole entire testimony 4 times and each time, it was a little less like a list of life events and a little more like a story that pointed more to Him than it did to me. I took yoga classes and learned to stop and breathe. It took me until 2 months after I stopped figure skating to realize how ironically insignificant gold medals are for people who are only preoccupied with winning. I lived out of a backpack. I fell in love with minimalism and self-sufficiency. I learned how the rest of the world sees America and Christians and want to spend the rest of my life being the view of Jesus that makes people change their mind about that.
I want to be a little more selfless and a lot more aware. I want to stop wondering if I could’ve done more. I want to fall fiercely more in love with my Savior.
This year was beautiful and it was full. This year was written to an end and I will count my blessings until the clock hits midnight.
2016, that’s a wrap.