Twenty eleven has been a difficult year. The ups, the downs, the losses suffered have been insurmountable. There was death in ways that were unpredictable. By suicide, by swat team, by accident, by anorexia. Things happened that I will never, ever in my life understand. I lost friends. I lost best friends. I lost some and then we came back to one another, stronger and thicker than ever. I said I love you. I said I hate you. I had my heart broken and broken and broken again. I had my feelings hurt in ways that were so hurtful I could barely repeat them to friends. I realized that the people that have meant the most to you are ones you’ll never forget and hopefully ones you can always call on. I smiled when my cousin came to tell me he was proposing to his girlfriend as she sat in the car out of earshot. I cried when I found out that my uncle’s cancer was getting worse. I breathed a sigh of relief when another pet scan of Mom’s came back clear. I laughed at myself for ever failing to see or to understand God’s plan for me. I still felt the hurt of friendships long lost. I watched as friends marriages fell apart and as friends got engaged and said I do. I held friends as they went through break ups and I found myself being held, too. I learned the value of having people who are there for you, really there for you. And how some people can be there for you in different ways but you need each of them to be this perfect recipe for your sanity. The one who will run with you, the one who will drink with you, the one who will tell you that your resume needs work and that you need to stay home and do work, the one who will answer her phone at 3 am, and the one who will tell you to quit being such a sad sap and do something about it. I let loose. I danced to Single Ladies when I wasn’t single and I danced to it when I was. I caught a bouquet, I kissed a boy, and I turned some boys down. I showed myself that I know good music and I found people to share that with. In fact, I realized that I have some of the best guy friends in the entire world. Here, there, and everywhere. And they make me laugh uproariously on a daily basis, even when they themselves are being pouty. I never forgot that my brothers are two of my best friends and I learned, more than ever, what a gem my sister-in-law is. I discovered that my best friend of all is, without a doubt, my mother. Because I learned that my mother is the most trustworthy person in the entire world and not only that, that she trusts me. And that not only do I lean on her, she leans on me. And that, more than anything, is the greatest gift of all and the greatest thing I have learned in my life. I saw great football games and great baseball games and great concerts of the likes of James Taylor, The Avett Brothers, Mumford and Sons, Band of Horses, Amos Lee, Ray LaMontagne, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, Kenny Chesney, Grace Potter, Billy Currington, Zac Brown Band, Michael Franti and Spearhead, David Gray, Ben Folds, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and Emmylou Harris. I traveled – to Mexico and Atlanta and Chicago and New York and Asheville and Savannah and to places I never imagined going and never will go again. I lived the year fully, full of wine and full of laughs and full of love and full of getting back up again. Here’s to tomorrow.
We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be. – C.S. Lewis