Instead of trying to come up with some crazy resolutions that I’ll never stick too, I’d like to close out 2018 by reflecting on what I’m thankful for. 2018 saw a lot of challenges for my family. I said goodbye to some amazing people in my life who are all now resting in heaven. I left a job I’d been at for five years and I learned a lot about myself. I spent this summer working really hard physically and mentally to gain insight into our world and our community. I was challenged and pushed harder than I thought I ever would be at 22. But here I am, ending the year with a big smile on my face, and feeling so excited about this amazing year 2019 will be.
Each tough time was met with something amazing. I officially gained another big brother who I have learned more and more about with each day. I see the love he has for my sister and I know that he will continue to be a great husband. As time goes on we will all be thankful for the memories and the experiences we share together. And that’s what life is all about.
I learned more and more what my definition of family means because my amazing friends welcomed me deeper into their lives. I saw very quickly this year, and I’m sure Gabby did too, that friendships are not always what we chalk them up to be. Friendships are hard, and complicated. But I know that I have a handful of amazing friends who love and support me, for me. My amazing friends are there for me when I call, they lean on me when they need to and we celebrate our victories. I am so thankful for them. Even better, this year I’ve been able to make my own memories with my boyfriend’s friends who are now by extension my friends. They have continued to welcome me and truly care about what I have to say. Good friends will get you through anything.
I learned the importance of speaking out and telling the truth when I brought mental health advocate Karyn Inder to my university campus. Karyn explored so many avenues of mental health and encouraged peace. She showed me that everyone is fighting some sort of battle, and love and guidance will get us through it all. Karyn was able to connect to 70 students, faculty and members of my community to share her message, a life with mental illness is still a life worth living. I was once again inspired and encouraged by her to be the kind of person my friends and family can be proud of.
As I close this year, half way through my fourth and final year of my undergraduate degree, a stack of papers on my desk reminding me about my masters applications I am thinking of all the lessons I’ve learned. 2018 challenged me to see things from a new perspective, it showed me to be patient, to be understanding and look no further than the those around me for love and acceptance. I realized very quickly in the year that I can’t do this thing called life alone and I’m just so thankful that I do have some amazing people beside me.
See you in 2019