january 1st.

january 1st.

there is something about the significance of this date that causes you to feel… more. it causes you to feel nostalgic. and hopeful. and proud. sometimes sad also. and regretful. and maybe heartbroken. looking at 365 days in review gives a new lens to look at the year through. it’s important to utilize this lens and appreciate what the last 365 pages of your story entailed, but to remember to pick back up the pen to write the next 365 pages.

so, here’s to taking a second to appreciate the chapter that has just closed.

simply put, when i outlined my own stats for 2018, it averaged out to be a pretty bad ass year.

in the last year, i left the country for the first time. i flew alone for the first time. i visited 7 countries, and fell in love with them all in a different way. albania, montenegro, croatia, bosnia and herzegovina, serbia, macedonia, and kosovo. i saw beautiful things and met incredible people through this experience that have changed me irreversibly.

i visited 3 states. minnesota for spring break, illinois for a josh turner concert, and florida to visit some of the close friends i gained from my experience in kosovo. i got to spend special time with friends in minnesota that later that year would part ways with for a longer period of time. i got to experience josh turner in illinois with one of the closest friends that i gained during my first year of college. and in florida i got to visit some of the people i grew so close to in such a short amount of time in kosovo.

i got to experience 7 different artists. in march i found my way to wells fargo to see jon pardi and miranda lambert with my mom. april was a bit busier with two concerts. i got to see bryce vine and timeflies with two of my closest friends from central college, and a week later found my way back to Wooleys with my music SOULMATE farah to see the wrecks, the technicolors, and the maine. and finally in may, dayne and i made the drive to illinois to bond over our mutual obsession for josh turner.

as well, i ended my first year of college in may. i made the decision to move on from softball and transfer from central college to uni, where i began my second year in august. in the time i had at central, i gained lifelong friendships and made unforgettable memories. some of the less impressive stats that i hold closer to my heart are the des moines trips, soccer bopper games, study sessions (kind of), and coffee dates with the friends i made in my time at central. parting ways with these people gave a heartbreak unlike any other, but have taught me an unparalleled amount when it comes to appreciating true friendship.

fast forward to august. from august to des moines, it seems unbelievable to realize the amount i have gained in just the last 5 months. i gained a new family on tiffany lane when i began nannying for the sweetest family in cedar falls, and renewed friendships with once great friends who also attended uni, who have again become great friends. but the most important gain i have experienced during this time came in september. in september i FINALLY gained sisters when i joined alpha phi!!!!!!! i gained the best pledge class, the best big, the best phi fam, and the best sisters through this chapter that i had no idea i needed so much. being a part of a sorority wasn’t a thing i had an intention of doing until i actually did it, and once i did it, i instantly became to incredibly grateful. i quickly became involved with alpha phi, and in december entered into my executive position as the vice president of community relations! i have opened this opportunity to serve and give back to my chapter with the most open arms. with all of this craziness the cherry on top of a great semester was earning all A’s in my first semester of classes at uni.

2018 wasn’t all gain however. there were many hardships in 2018. leaving the country alone was scary. leaving my new-found kosovo friends at the end of 5 weeks broke my heart. transferring schools as a sophomore was intimidating. making the decision to rush was difficult. there were many friendships and relationships damaged, and some lost. but in all the bad there has been good. braving the trip to kosovo resulted in gaining one of the most important people i have met thus far in my life, and the countless possibilities 2019 has in store with this person bring me nothing but excitement and hope.

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so while it’s important to look back and to appreciate, i’m now ready to look forward and be hopeful. significance and metaphors are things that have always gotten through to me, and maybe that’s because of all the books my grandma read to me. but nonetheless, getting to open a new page titled 1.1.2019 signifies to me many things that can be summed into one word. opportunity. it’s simply not possibly to express my excitement for the opportunity that 2019 will be.

here’s to learning. here’s to living. here’s to growth. here’s to opportunity.

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