I’m currently sitting in the Starbucks where I had my first cup of coffee back in high school. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see the corner where there used to be a Rocky’s Video 16 years ago, when I first moved to the US. I remember walking to the video store at night right after the 96 blizzard to get a Friday the 13th movie. Just a 10 year old and a 13 year old, walking in the dark, scared and unafraid at the same time.
I’ve come a long time since those days but this little shopping center always brings me back. This is also the same Starbucks that my high school friends and I still meet at every year. After we graduated high school, this kind of became our meeting spot. There have been a few times when we were just going to meet here to go have dinner somewhere else and spent hours chatting with our coffee cups in hand instead.
16 years since I moved here and each year has carried so much weight. So many memories, so many mistakes, so many lessons.
Lots of laughter, tears and everything in between.
That’s basically my life, everyday. I love it.
I try to do a recap post every year but 2011 has been a year full of so many twists and turns that it seems impossible. I finally stopped running in place. I finally got out of my own damn way and I finally fully let go of the past.
I also started being a little selfish. I learned to say “No”. I learned to ignore the critics, both internal and external.
I traveled, I wrote, I read a ton, and I learned how to fully take control of my life.
I spent time with friends, near and far. I tried my hardest to find a reason to smile everyday and some days, I became a hermit because the world was too much for me to handle.
I got a furbaby. I fought with my fiance. I handled my doubts, fears and frustrations – sometimes maturely, other times, not so much.
I even got professional headshots taken. (What? I know, how vain).
I became a U.S. Citizen & celebrated my first Independence Day as a citizen.
I drank too much. I didn’t drink enough. I acted a fool.
I went dancing – by myself and danced like no one was watching.
I lived. I loved. I persevered.
I’m going to do all of that.
I hope all of you have a fantastic end to the year and even a more amazing 2012. I am so excited that you are continuing to be a part of my journey, and I promise I’ll make it worth your while.