Somewhere around the beginning of 2007 I started reading about how it was the year of the Boar in the Asian Zodiac. I was born in the year of the boar and was told that I'd have an abundance of good luck for the year. How exciting is that? I told my mom about this because nothing could happen to her in the year of the boar if I'm supposed to be so lucky. (I was scrapping the bottom of the barrel in terms of hope for the situation) She, of course, wasn't as believing and optimistic as me.
Despite the predictions of the year, 2007 ended up being the hardest year I've ever faced. A lot of awful things happened so close together bringing tons of disappointment, failed plans, and heartache. For a while everyday came with more bad news and it became a struggle for me to keep my head up. I'd never been knocked down that hard before.
However, regardless of all that has happened this year, and how crappy I felt for the last six months of it, I realized I am in fact very lucky. I have amazing friends who stood by me through everything. They were there when I needed them, most with open arms and words of wisdom. I have my family. I have a college education that may actually take me somewhere. I have the means to do something like up and move to Alaska and start over, along with motivation and an adventurous spirit. I have my health and I have options others may not have. I'm young and unattached to anything except my family who are understanding and supportive of my decisions, which gives me the freedom to follow my dreams. And most of all, I learned that I'm a lot stronger than I realized. My mom was everything in my world, she helped me in every situation big or small. I told her everything, she was my comfort in hard times, and she loved me unconditionally. There's a big hole in my life without her, but I need to use what I learned from her to get up and move on.
Hellen Keller once said "Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through the experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved."
So I've decided to not look at 2007 as a lucky or unlucky year, but a year that tested my strength, character, and most of all patience. I may not see the ultimate results now, but I hope one day I will. 2007 was definitely more significant than any year of my life, there has to be a reason. People have been through worse and I'm not the only one who took a blow this year.
I don't know what 2008 holds, I'm just happy 2007 is over and I can embark on something new and exciting. I've had to start over a lot in my life, but not like this, and I'm excited because I know my future holds great things. The last two weeks have been amazing, partly because I know I'm leaving and partly because the holidays brought home friends from all over. At least it was a good end.
I know this is corny as hell but I'm giving special thank yous to some great people that helped me through this year. They never turned their back on me no matter how rough it got and I appreciate them for that:
Always remember to forget
The friends that proved untrue.
But never forget to remember
Those that have stuck by you.
-Ann Leahy for always being there even when you were busy, and for understanding me. I'll miss you the most. It'll be weird not having your around. We never got to cook up those broken glass muffins though. Shoes.
-Katie Jungkunz for being so damn awesome, you make me feel like I can do anything, and not matter how grumpy I am your laugh is too damn infectious to not laugh along. I love you more than words can say. Sorry about the feathers on your couch
-Jim and Marjane for lending an ear and offering advice on life and love. You guys are awesome mentors and like my second set of parents.
-Sara Feldkamp for making me laugh so much, you know a friendship is strong when you don’t see someone for four years and you can pick up like no time has passed. You get me. (and did you pick up on the "yous" in thank yous above? I thought of you when I typed it)
-Aunt Jodi and Uncle Pete for letting me stay with you at times and helping me make hard decisions. I hope you'll save money and drag the kids out to see me.
-Michelle Jelinski for being there during some choice bad moments and letting me vent. Your company when things were hard are more meaningful than you will know. You are so much fun to be around.
-Ben for being an awesome big brother and being there when things got rough.
-And especially Matt Kerr for pressing me to go to Alaska for four years, your persistence has finally paid off. Thanks for helping me with all the logistics behind the big move, your patience, advice, and just being there for me when things were particularly difficult. You are the most understanding male I've ever known. I owe you a mountain of gratitude.
I hope everyone else has a great New Year and I'll continue posting. Onwards to Alaska for a fresh start. Wish me luck.