Another one in the books.

Happy 2011. I go in and out of deciding whether or not to cover my day-to-day life, or scan over the general feel of my existence as I’m going through it. For a post wrapping up a year, I feel like I needed to sit down and think about what the last 365.. well 372 since this post is late.. were defined as for me.

In resume form, I could say:

I’ve successfully finished my hardest semester in college with almost all A’s, moved into a house that I pay for myself, became an officer of a sorority, moved up in my office, got engaged, wrote for a newspaper, created (and kept up with!) a successful blog, made it into my 20’s with only one broken bone, changed my major, became a regular volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House and Cooks Childrens Hospital, started photography, learned how to bake, grew my hair out the longest (and healthiest) it’s been since jr. high, was put on the dean’s list for academic achievement, and learned how to be a better friend and sister (hopefully).

I also, on the other end of the spectrum:

(we can’t have the highs without the lows).. I got my first speeding ticket, gained 5 lbs, fell in love with designer purses and shoes, caused my parents some new grey hairs (and the first of my own), and lost the time for my dear friend; running.

But something that I learned this year (ironically) is that life can not be defined by a list of accomplishments or defeats. For years, I’ve been caught up on making sure that my list of awards outweigh my downfalls on the golden scale of my life. While this year has been successful on paper, it has been quite the year trying to figure myself out, and stumbling a lot emotionally along the way. For a while, I felt like a failure that I couldn’t get it ironed out enough to display to the world and confidently say “this is what defines me”. But I’ve really learned, and continue learning, how beautiful of a thing it is to let go of what others want in your life, and just live it on your own. I’ve really rid myself of a lot of checkmarks in my life that I felt were absolutely necessary to be a “good” or “successful” person on paper, and I can genuinely say that I’ve never accomplished more in a year of my life once it was gone. I may not have a smile plastered on my face at all times these days, but I promise that the girl you sit down and have a conversation with is the real me.. whether you like it or not. (Even though I hope you do!)

I’m so excited to see where I am this time next year, because the change in my life is going to be wild. And I’m so excited. So. Stinkin. Excited.

So bring it on, 2011.

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