2013 was an interesting year for me. Interesting is probably not the most descriptive word for it, but in complete and total honesty, "interesting" is the only word I've got.
Some truly challenging experiences took place in 2013, and though it's hard to forget some of those challenges, I can honestly say that 2013 surprised me with some absolutely incredible experiences for which I am very thankful for.
Three of my BEST friends married their sweethearts, and I was able to be with them as all of their dreams came true- reminding me of course, that heartbreak only means we are human... and I just need to trust that I, too, will find my soulmate someday. My little brother graduated from college and got a tremendous job opportunity! I challenged myself to run 75 miles in 30 days and accomplished my goal on day 30 when I ran 13 miles total (my longest run to date)! My gymnastics team won their second consecutive National Championship! Watching those girls realize their potential and knowing that I had a small part in them achieving their goals makes every second of every hour I put into that gym 200% worth it. I can't even put into words the amount of pride I had in that moment, and every moment since. My job at Whitewater became a full-time position. My GymHawks club has grown tremendously and is reaching almost 200 kids per session. I am so honored and blessed that I had the opportunity to create this program, and I thank God everyday for the kids that have been brought into my life because of it. I also bought my first car in 2013, and though I purchased it in November... the "2014 model" made me feel even more like a grown up! I also joined a wonderful church this year and in doing so have met some of the kindest and most wonderful people that I feel so privileged to know. And I got a tattoo in remembrance of the sweet little gymnast who went to be with Jesus, and touched my heart so. Psalm 121 will always mean more to me than I will ever be able to explain.
I think one of the most prominent things that stands out to me in 2013 was how much I learned about myself. I learned how to cope with grief and how to help others do the same. I found a courage in writing that I never dreamed I had within me. I learned how to open up to someone, and how to fall gracefully when a dream falls out of reach. I learned that forgiveness isn't always a reflex emotion for me... though I always considered myself an extremely forgiving person, this was something I struggled with this year. Faith is a funny thing, because it's so easy to have it when things are going well, yet so hard to believe in it when life seems to push you down. God helped me navigate through these challenges, and though I'd like to say I've got it figured out... I know I still have a lot to learn. And most importantly, this year I learned that life goes on... and it is up to us to decide HOW it goes on.
Our circumstances do not define us, and the people who walk in and out of our lives do not define us. WE DEFINE OURSELVES... so as you look back on 2013, wave goodbye to it and look forward. 2014 is a new year and a new chance to be who you want to be. Make choices that will impact your life they way you want your life to be impacted. Believe that you have the power to make a difference in your own life, because that is exactly what you have.
Happy 2014 y'all! Here's to endless possibilities!