This December was filled with highs and lows, but the year as a whole was one of the best I've had in a while. I feel like I am in a good place right now, and 2010 has helped to get me there. Although I may not be as close in proximity to our family as I would like to be or be employed in the journalism field quite yet, those are all things that can be improved on over time. At least I have a house and a job, period, so I'll continue to count my blessings.
I can't possibly write a good ol' blog post without including one of my infamous lists, so let's countdown the highlights of the wonderful year that 2010 turned out to be:
10. Obviously, winning that international traveling grant back in May and getting the once in a lifetime opportunity to travel abroad for two weeks starting next Tuesday.
9. My first father/daughter dance with Dad at my sorority formal last spring :-)
8. Graduating from college! Not even those penny-sized blisters on my little toes could ruin that day (plus, those yellow shoes were darn cute and so worth the pain!).
7. I held a baby for the first time (I know, I know! I'm in my 20s and had never held a baby. They're just so small and fidgety and fragile and scary!... I'm weird). I couldn't believe one of my oldest childhood friends was going to have a baby-- AND, she was born on your birthday!
6. I started my blog, and I'm so thankful for that. I have found a little safe haven where I can release all my happiness and/or frustration whenever I wish, a new group of blog friends who understand and support me, and a new sense of self altogether.
5. My relationship with John is better than it's ever been-- not that it's ever been bad or anything, but I just feel like we are closer now. I look around at so many relationships that consist of a beer in one hand and a bar tab in the other, and I feel so blessed that we are more than that. We find joy in going to a Tuesday night movie when the theater's empty, coming up with something new to cook for dinner, or picking up coffees and heading to the park. It's the little things that make a relationship hugely successful, and I am lucky to have found that.
4. My wishy-washy friends have weeded themselves out of my life. Normally, this would be a bad thing to me that I was unable to stay close with literally every person I have ever met, but it has almost been a relief that I no longer find this to be a necessity. Last year I would've been devastated if someone I once considered a close friend all of a sudden stopped wishing me a happy birthday or even ceased conversing with me at all. Honestly, I feel happier focusing on a smaller group of friends. I feel more fulfilled at the end of the day by my true friendships, and I think that's what's most important.
3. I didn't lose anyone significant this year nor get news that someone close to me was sick with cancer. I know this won't always be the case as I get older, so I am enjoying it while I can.
2. I have started getting closer with my relatives on your side of the family. A few people in particular have been making such a sincere effort to improve our relationship by reading my blog, writing e-mails, and sending cards in the mail. I even received a message from my cousin telling me how much she looks up to and admires me for my strength, writing talent, and drivenness. It was so sweet.
1. Our happy memories have begun to outplay the sad ones that overwhelmed me after your death. I am able to talk about you more openly, and it doesn't feel awkward or like I'm making the other person uncomfortable. Sharing memories of our life together feels normal and has made me realize that you will continue to live on inside me and all the people whose lives you've touched.
I'm not sure if 2011 can top this, but I am starting it off in Belize on Tuesday, so it's looking pretty good. Now go grab a party hat, an annoying kazzoo, and a festive glittery set of angel wings, and let the real countdown begin!
Happy New Year!