Saturday, December 31, 2011

Another Year Over and a New One Just Begun.....

“It’s suspended there to remind us before we pop the champagne and celebrate the New Year, to stop and reflect on the year that has gone by. To remember both our triumphs and our missteps - our promises made, and broken. The times we opened ourselves up to great adventures - or closed ourselves down, for fear of getting ...hurt. Because that’s what New Year’s is all about: getting another chance. A chance to forgive, to do better, to do more, to give more, to love more. And stop worrying about ‘what if’ and start embracing what would be. So when that ball drops at midnight - and it will drop - let’s remember to be nice to each other, kind to each other. And not just tonight but all year long.” - Claire Morgan "New Year’s Eve"

As this year comes to a close, I, just like every other human on the face of the earth, am thinking about all that this year has been.  2011 has been an amazing year full of many new and exciting experiences.  The start of 2011 was the end of my undergraduate college career filled with many late nights with friends and fun, sometimes just laughing over nothing.  I went to Mississipi and fell in love with the Gulf Coast and southern small towns and was able to help construct a house for someone affected by Hurricane Katrina. I had so many great memories from that trip and from so many other activities.  I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end my time at Marywood than spending many nights with those whom I had grown to love as a family; friends, co-workers, acquaintances all made my 4 years at Marywood what they were.  After 4 great years I had to say good bye to all I had grown to love as “home” and become a graduate of Marywood University.
                My summer was filled with work, seeing friends, and mentally preparing for the year ahead; my AMA volunteer year.
                August came and with it it brought the start of my AMA year and the start of many new experiences.  I am so grateful for all of the experiences and people that have come into my life in the last four and a half months.  I have been blessed with so many opportunities these last few months.  I have also been blessed with the many people who have been brought into my life; they are truly what make the experience.  I love the work that I am doing; teaching ESL and helping with mentoring, learning to knit and occasionally helping in the preschool.  But more than what I am doing, it is the people I am with.  My ESL students have taught me so much about their lives, our mentoring kids have stolen my heart from day 1, the knitting ladies are good for some stories and laughs and the preschoolers have given me so many hugs and love just for coming once a week.  I have also tried many new things in this year, adding much more to my experiences.  But most of all Kristen, Liz and I, my housemates, have shared so many much needed laughs and chats, sometimes laughing until we cry.  Who knows what I will remember after this year, but I know I will remember how much I laughed and loved this year, as that has been the theme for 2011; laughter and love.  And lots of it.

So here’s to what has been a great 2011, I appreciate and am thankful for all that it has been.   And also, here’s to hopefully a great 2012 full of many more new experiences, but more so full of much more laughter and love.

To quote Rent the Musical: "525, 600 minutes, how do you measure, measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee, in inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife....Measure in love."