“Another Year Over, A New One Just Begun”

Pop quiz:  What is the title quote from?  
Answer:  John Lennon’s Christmas song, “Happy Xmas (War is Over)”

It’s hard to believe another year is in the books. When I look back to where I was nearly 365 days ago, the changes are evident. It never ceases to amaze me how much one can change in a matter of 12 months. Fortunately, I think I’ve changed for the better. I’m not a big fan of the “New Year’s Resolution,” so I didn’t make any this year. I’ve found that for the most part, they end up being disappointments at the end of the year, so if I see a need for change or improvement, I make it then and there, instead of waiting for the calendar to change. At least, I try to, that is. So, here are the highlights of 2013. 

  • Carolinas Key Club District Convention 2013—we kicked butt and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end my terms as President 
  • Being named the Carolinas District Key Club & Kiwanis International Scholarship recipient (16 pages of typed service over four years paid off, I’d say) 
  • 2013 Key Club Banquet—it was painful and melancholy to say goodbye, but it was a beautiful celebration of hard work, dedication, and shared love of the most important part of my high school career 
  • Baccalaureate Service and having Pop as our speaker! 
  • Being named Salutatorian for my graduating class… hard work (and I do mean HARD work) pays off 
  • Speaking in front of nearly 3,000 people about what it means to make a difference and create a life of service 
  • Receiving my high school diploma from Mama, thus GRADUATING high school 
  • Celebrating my accomplishments of high school with all the people who mean the most to me in one place at one time (the food was excellent, too) 
  • Learning that the difference between what we think we deserve and what we actually deserve are often very different 
  • Reading a lot of self-help books and writing a lot and in the process, learning that “alone” and “lonely” are not the same thing 
  • Orange and Black Orientation! 
  • Meeting Leah in person for the first time ever after two years of emails, tweets, and text messages…got some beautiful shots and even better conversation 
  • Spending a week with TONY in North Carolina after four years apart! 
  • Hiking Raven Rock for the first time ever 
  • Moving in to COLLEGE! 
  • Making a million and one memories with Meredith within the first 24 hours at school 
  • Walking into the chapel from opposite sides at the exact same moment as my Taylor and knowing at that moment that my life would never, ever be the same, and I was right! 
  • Pop giving me my medallion at the Freshman Convocation Ceremony 
  • Meeting lots of new friends: Jenny, Adam, Alice, Olivia, Emily, Morgan, Jaime, and so many others 
  • Visiting “the spot” countless times for late night talks 
  • Stargazing at Lundy with my wonderful friends 
  • The first thing of my 19th birthday being my foot in my chocolate birthday cake, which was later dropped face-down on our carpet by Meredith 
  • Beatles TOMS for my birthday from Taylor 
  • Surviving my first-ever midterms 
  • Finding out I made a perfect score on my first research paper of college 
  • Giving a presentation on Nelson Mandela just two weeks before he died, which has ended up being quite the tribute 
  • Finishing my first semester of college with a perfect 4.0 and all A’s! 
  • Spending time with Taylor doing endless amounts of nothing (some people will understand that reference) over Christmas break 
  • Getting Franklin and watching him everyday on Christmas break! 
  • Spending time with family (especially Mom and Pop) over Christmas break… I didn’t realize how much-needed it was

The past year of my life has been a whirlwind. There have been many ups (college, new friends, wonderful boyfriend, success in academics) and some downs (perceived heartbreak, disappointments, change in family dynamics), but I think that’s the case with everyone. When 2013 rang in, I had no idea that I would be who I am today. I’ve grown a lot. I’m more confident, I’m more outspoken, and I’m genuinely happier with my life and those around me. This has been one of the most eventful years in my life, and I can’t wait to see where 2014 takes me!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of my lovely readers. My blog is almost a year old, and because of you, it’s been a success! Thank you for your support and love, and here’s hoping your 2014 is shiny, sparkly, and full of love and hugs.

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