Somehow, I knew that this year would be better than the rest. I don't know how, but I felt it. As soon as the clock struck 12 on January 1, 2007, I knew this would be a year I would never forget.
And I was soooo right! :)
This year, God has let me experience the highest of highs and lowest of lows, and just about everything in between. I lost 25 pounds (yay!), I changed churches, I re-evaluated the important relationships in my life and I almost lost my dad in the process.
That old saying is true, though- "Whatever doesn't kill you only makes you stronger." Here we are at the end of November, about to go into December, and I find myself a completely different person than I was a year ago today. My priorities are clear- God, family, school/career (Mary Kay's too!! ha) This time last year I hated myself physically and was about to get a huge paycut. God hears prayers. And he sent me to Quick Weight loss, which, however much it cost me, helped my self-image with a much-needed boost. At the beginning of January I was still working two jobs and getting almost nowhere financially. Now I like to think I just work one and have fun selling makeup on the side. ;)
Speaking of that, being a consultant with Mary Kay has really helped me in so many ways. I will never regret that decision. Having my own business has helped me get organized and set my own schedule for myself. I've met so many successful women who just inspire me to be better, not only at selling a lipstick, but at life. I don't set limits anymore, I set goals. Goals for financial stability, goals for the future. :)
I think the major turning point this year has been one particular four-day ship expedition to Mexico in which alcohol in mass amounts became my best friend. I think you know what I'm talking about. But, however, I will never ever regret that trip. It really taught me how not to act. The only thing I regret is having acted that way in front of Jannelle's entire family.
But a few (OK, more than a few) lessons came out of the aftermath of that trip. I learned to never give up on a friend, no matter how long it's been since you last talked. I changed churches and, in a lot of ways, became a new person. Most importantly, though, I learned that being neutral ends at one point or another. Sometimes it may take a couple of years for your opinions to really be voiced, but let them come out. So you'll lose some friends. But were they really your friends to begin with? And will they help you in your spiritual walk? Think about this next time you tell yourself you don't have an opinion.
The one thing I am truly grateful for this year has been my dad. In June he was hospitalized and it was then, when I thought he might not make it through the night, that I stepped up to the plate. I called my half-sister, who I had never even met before, and told her the situation. She, in turn, called my half-brother, whom I had been close with when I was younger, but for some reason he stopped talking to my dad about 7 years ago. I think he realized just how serious the condition was and came to the hospital. We've been close ever since. I'm grateful for having him come back into my life, because he is so like me it's disgusting. :)
My relationship with the boyfriend is better than it has ever been, mostly for maturity's sake I guess. I will never try to put someone else above our relationship. That backfired. I'm so lucky to have him in my life! We really are a team. We'll go up to bat for each other any day, and nobody is getting in the middle of that again. We're a team and thats how it will be. If you hate him, you hate me. If you hate me, you hate him.
Take your pick.
All in all, I'm grateful for God. God has returned to being the center of my life. This is where he belongs. And I don't think that will change.