(highlights, and pictures, and prose and stuff…)
There is a sweet nostalgia to the last of a kind; and this? The last morning that can be attributed to 2013? It is indeed sweet, and lovely.
So I woke up early this morning. Honestly, I’ve been trying to get back on my early morning schedule for a week, and in the hopes of that goal I keep setting my alarm early and then when it goes off I just hit snooze. Fail. Not this morning however; this morning I was strangely stirred by a desire to soak up the last wrinkles, nooks and crannies of 2013, because, well?
It’s been a very good year.
I couldn’t honestly say that so much was my feeling about ’12, or ’11, or ’10…and frankly ’09 left a LOT to be desired…and *ahem* ’08. Ok, honestly? The last time I got to the end of a year and thought…’what a good year’ and really felt sad to say goodbye? It was 2006. It’s been a while. It’s not that I didn’t love life in moments in those other years, or that I wasn’t thankful.
I was. Good things happened in the in-between….but it was more of a ‘be thankful on purpose’ because, well? It seems like a good practice, and like one should be thankful for ones life. I was, after all, certain (by faith) that there were good things happening on the inside of me…but on the outside? eeek. Not years I’d go back and want to do over. Happy to let them become history, and part of my rich fabric of my journey. They made me what I’m becoming. I’m thankful for that, but I don’t want to do those years again.
I don’t actually want to do this year again either, come to that…but I sure did enjoy it. Lucky ’13. Who’d have thought?
Ok, enough waxing nostalgic. Highlights: I’m going to try to come up with seven of them, which may be hard, because frankly, it wasn’t so much what happened this year, as who I was becoming this year, and I’m not sure if one can put prose to that. But nonetheless, lets see if I can sum things up a little, just for the fun of it (and gratuitously for my own self-documentation.)
Ok so, in no particular order of favoriteness, here was 2013.
Midwinter Seattle: A few years ago, my sister and I crashed at our friend Ann’s house in London for a week. We bummed around the city, and had a memorable and lovely time (one of those really good moments from 2007.) This year we didn’t go to London, but the company was the same, and the experience was likewise quite enjoyable. While my sister and Ann hit up the ALA midwinter meeting in Seattle, I jumped at the chance for a weekend away.
I got older, but danced like a teenager at a Gungor concert anyway, the eve of my 30th birthday. I had been obsessing about their music for months, so when I found out they were coming to a university campus near me? I jumped at the chance to hear them live: fantastic plan. Maybe the best concert I’ve ever heard live. They are not only lovely songwriters, but fantastic performer/musicians as well.
School: I made the jump to invest in my education…yet again. Honestly, didn’t sleep the first week I signed up for classes, waking up every moment in stress and anxiety attacks that I was ‘making the wrong call.’ I’m still not sure how it will all turn out, but I’m so glad that I made this choice. I’ve met wonderful people, and been challenged in ways I didn’t think I could actually surmount.
Mountains, and picnics at Wallowa Lake: When my parents visited, we drove south to East Oregon, and I had my first encounter with Wallowa Lake. I’d been to Eagle Cap before, but never Wallowa Lake, and it’s a beautiful place. I pinch myself when I remember that I live so close to such a beautiful place.
Rainier: I have a small confession; I’m in a relationship with this beauty. I have been since I first set eyes on it many years ago, and when I look on this beautiful face? I get a little weak at the knee. I’m not even kidding. So I slipped away one morning, and impulsively paid a little visit to the mountain mid-summer. I set on a snow field and got a sunburn, and wrote some things in a journal while my feet rested in a freezing stream. Divine.
Missouri: The lovely shire, I visited with my sister and cub in August. It was a relaxing, and laid back two weeks of going to the zoo, and seeing family, and friends, and all and all, enjoying the rolling hills of the heartland.
Finally: I don’t actually have pictures really to document this, but it’s pretty important. This year, I’ve been blessed with some amazing friendships. I’ve lived in this part of the world for two and a half years…and for much of the time I’ve been here, I’ve been treating it as ‘temporary.’ I hate making flaky relationships; but more than that, I hate making deep and wonderful friendships and than having that horrid ache that comes when you love people, and can’t be near them. And so? I’ve just not made friends here…but this year, I did something a little different: I put down some roots. I made friends. This year, I’ve really cherished the people that have come into my life…and I realize that sometimes these are brief encounters, and sometimes they’re lasting encounters, and it’s hard to tell the difference at first sight. However I also realized that brief isn’t always the same as flaky…and I need to remember that. Word from the introvert, to the introvert: people are worth investing in, and it’s worth a little energy sometimes to share in each others stories. It’s even worth the ache of having to say goodbye. So for all my old friends, and the new friends of 2013 (be them deep and lasting, or brief but memorable) I was really blessed to have you in my life this year; and even if it isn’t for long, you made a difference in me… and so, I thank you darling.
And to all of you, whoever, and wherever you may be, have a happy, and blessed New Year.