December 31, 2011

Two Thousand Eleven.

This year has been absolutely incredible. Words fail me when I try and think of some cute and cliche way to sum up what 2011 has meant for me. This was the year that I took off and started the beginnings of a life full of adventure.
One year ago tonight I was sitting in a campground in New Mexico getting ready for my cousin's wedding, and my thoughts kept going back to the thought that that little trip to New Mexico was the last trip that I would make before I moved to Florida. All I could think about was the fact that after the ball dropped and the date turned into 2011, my life would begin to speed up and change faster than I could immagine. And oh man, it did. January flew by in a midst of packing and planning until before I knew it February found me driving south to figure out my place in the world.
My life was insane in Florida. Working for Disney was everything and nothing like I ever immagine it would be like. Some days were so crazy magical that I would have to pinch myself to believe that it was real life. Some days were hard, brutally hard, and it took every ounce of perseverance to keep myself from driving home. I met friends who stole my heart completely, friends who I still miss and think of every day. I met people who tested my character and I encountered situations that forced me to grow up. Even months after I've been home, there are days when the sky looks a certain way, or I smell a certain smell and in my head I'm instantly standing in front of Popcorn 2, staring Cinderella's castle down, and waiting for the fireworks to go off. There's something about being a Disney cast member that nothing else can compare to...it's magical. The days were slow but the weeks were fast, and in the 6 months that I lived in Orlando working for the mouse I've never had my cravings for adventure so satisfied and my faith so tested. It was good. Really good.
My turn around between Disney and SNU was so short, a small four days, that I didn't even unpack my car. I just transferred my life from my car to a new dorm room. I came into college feeling heartbroken, completely homesick for the life I left behind and the friends that I missed with everything that I was. Without a fair clean slate, I came into college thinking that it could never live up to the adventures that I'd been living. And while the adventures have been so very different, SNU slipped in and staked a claim on my heart with ease. The friends that I've met at SNU have been so amazing, supporting me, encouraging me, humoring my restless streak...and I couldn't immagine my life without them.
My first semester of college was an incredible semester, a lot like Disney when it comes down to it because it was filled with good days and hard days. There were days when I was homesick for the life I left behind in Florida. There were days when I was knocked down because I was so demoralized with running. And then there were days when I laughed until I cried with newfound friends. Days when I looked around and realized just how blessed I was by the people in my life.
Sometimes adventure is a little bit more subtle that the fireworks across the night sky in the Magic Kingdom, but that doesn't make it any less worthwhile. 2011 was a year that shook up my world. From jumping out of a plane over Cape Canaveral to walking through the Yukon lights with a group of friends that I can't wait to spend the next few years with... I can't even begin to say how thankful I am for the friends that have stolen my heart this year. From Japan to Washington to Wales to Louisiana, my love got scattered all over the world is 2011...and I have never been more blessed by the people who I can point to and say, "They made this year amazing."

This is me praying that this was the very first page
Not where the story line ends
My thoughts will echo your name until I see you again
These are the words I held back
As I was leaving too soon
I was enchanted to meet you

Au Revoir 2011
Hey there 2012 :)