Saturday, December 31, 2011

The End of the Year

Right now I'm sitting on my mentor's couch, enjoying a lazy morning on New Year's Eve while two birds chirp and whistle loudly in their cages from across the room. It's a nice morning, and better already than the boring evening I experienced last night. I thought I'd take some time, collect my thoughts and reflect on the past year. It's been a long one, an adventurous one and one that I'm sure will be sticking with me for a long, long time.

This year I made a cross-country trek with my roommate, a cat and everything I owned packed into my little Serenity. It really is only by the grace of God that I went, made it and am now living in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Four days on the road, seeing sights I never imagined existed inside the US, staying in hotels, realising my car wasn't made for the Rockies... all experiences I never want to forget, and I am incredibly happy I had. There is nothing quite like a road trip. It's exciting, scary, but mostly the best time of your life. I'm excited for my next one, wherever it takes me. I adopted a kitty, the best cat in the world, and as of right now I miss him terribly. I hear he misses me, too. I long to see his little chubby face again.

In May I started the school I'll be graduating from, and it's my favourite of the lot so far. Yes, I found my best friend at PCC, but Eastern has brought me other great friends and an easier way to my degrees. I'll hopefully be finishing this summer, and I can't wait to hold those degrees in my hands (y'know, when they arrive in the mail months later). I have no idea if I'll stay in Michigan, move back to California, or go somewhere else. It's a decision I really don't like thinking about, but if I've learned anything from this year, it is to trust God fully. He's gotten me so ahead in life this year, how could I not trust that He'll continue to lead me in the right direction? So I decided that where I live is up to Him. I'm just hoping it involves awesome friends surrounding me.

Also in May I discovered just how amazing Steampunk is, and how much better suited I am toward it than Gothy-ness. Yes, yes. I know. But Steampunk was what I'd been searching for as a Goth, and I am proud to wear my brown and gears! I also found some of the coolest friends a new girl could ask for. Sundays nights became Game Night with a very large group of loud, nerdy, wonderful people. I am so thankful to have them in my life. They mean more to me than they can possibly know.

In August I found another love of my life, not in a person, but in a place. There is nowhere better for the outdoors than the Upper Peninsula. The moment we crossed that bridge I knew it was love. The trees, the lake, the people, the pasties... everything about the UP put me at ease and expanded my senses. Not only that, but I had my first real encounter with the paranormal outside my father's house. I saw the Paulding Light (along with about fifty or sixty other people). It was... indescribable. I've posted a blog on it, taken pictures and video, and stood for nearly three hours staring at the pulsing orb, and musing with other visitors on what it could be. It was a wonderful first paranormal investigation, and got me creating a popular blog. August was a win.

In fall I explored my first pumpkin patch, and had a fantastic time watching the colours change. Spending a fall in a state with seasons was beautiful, and I have certainly found my favourite season of all.

This year I have also worked as a nanny for two great kids and a loving family, and I am so proud to work there. I kind of miss them even now, and going back to work doesn't seem like such a daunting task to me. I know I don't wan to nanny forever, but for now it seems a perfect match. Now if only I could get them to like my car...

At this moment I am the heaviest I've ever been, but thanks to freaking out, not wanting to buy new clothing and my roommate's new exercise bike, all that will change. It's not a resolution, because I never keep those, but a promise to myself to get in better shape and return home next year looking and feeling better than ever. Midwestern food and eating habits totally don't help, though. These people love their food.

Thanks to all of you I am able to be sitting on a couch in Southern California right now. Without donations there is no way I would have made it home for Christmas. I am so thankful to all of you who gave. It honestly made me cry when my inbox lit up with donation emails. I have the most wonderful support group in the world, and I could ask for nothing better.

What 2012 holds for me I do not know. I plan on graduating, moving out (of at least this apartment), getting a decent-paying job and hopefully traveling somewhere neither California or Michigan. Maybe I'll actually make it to New Orleans again. I don't know. What I do know is that God and all of you are there for me, and I think the biggest lesson I've learned this year is that others are trustworthy, reliable and friendly. I've learned to put my faith in God, and relax in the knowledge that He provides everything I need, no matter what I do or say. He has blessed me with wonderful people whom I can count on and go to in times of need. I've been shown that I can make it out on my own, 2000 miles away from those I love most, and thrive in any environment. And that's a comforting thought.

See you all in the New Year!

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