In this past year, in chronological order, I:
Moved out on my own to St. Petersburg
Found a new church home in Aletheia St. Pete
Almost lost Pierre to kidney failure
Received support and donations from friends and strangers alike to save his life
Adopted a dog
Met David, an incredibly beautiful soul
Went to therapy
Began a long-distance relationship when David had to go back to school
Learned I have Hypothyroidism
Moved into a new lakeside apartment with Luz
Spent Thanksgiving in Baton Rouge and met many wonderful people
Was successful in my job
Had one of the best Christmases of my life
I learned that expectations are easily unmet, that anger and frustration needs to be and can be controlled, that there is freedom in singleness and beauty in togetherness, that no matter what my circumstances in life, I will flourish if I hold on, and that sometimes medication and therapy are necessary and there is nothing wrong with that.
I learned that family and friends are my anchor, and when I needed them most, they were there. That good friends will suffer a night of freezing temperatures and howling cats so I don't need to spend a night alone in a scary and unfamiliar place, that my father is wise enough to tell me that I deserve love more than pity and that his hugs can assuage true heartache for a few moments, and that my mother will sit on the phone and listen to me cry, and then remind me that I'm strong.
I learned that romance and love is not the most important thing in life, that singleness is an exciting life-path with just as many opportunities and experiences available as one with marriage, that when a real, wonderful man comes along, he'll make you want to intertwine your life path with his, that you'll want to compromise and say kind things always, and that 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 becomes more than a cliche Bible verse about love when you find a man that you respect and admire.
I learned that human beings are all equally weak and beautiful, that we all take different twists and turns in life, that we all make mistakes and grudges are pointless and painful. I learned that we should stop judging everyone and learn to see people's souls and not their choices. I learned that if I put myself in someone else's shoes, I become better at empathy and compassion, and that we are all God's children, clothed in his love and grace. In the words of my David, "If it weren't for God's Grace, we'd all be screwed." We are all equal, we all make terrible choices, we are all beautiful and loved.
I also learned that I cannot change anyone, only myself. I then learned that I don't want to change myself. I want more acceptance for myself. I want to learn acceptance for others. I want to take care of people and nature, and I want less things. I want to live my life understanding that I will leave things behind that will impact this world, and I want to daily remember to make choices that will impact it for the better.
Happy New Year and lots of love.