I love making New Year's Resolutions. I love making resolutions, regardless of the time of year. But what I really love about the end of the year is taking time to reflect on how much I've changed, and all the things I am grateful for. Sometimes they are big, like an opportunity to study abroad, and sometimes they are small, like a movie that inspired me in some way.
This year, I am grateful for these things:
|Badlands National Park, SD|
1. The opportunity to work out in British Columbia for the summer.
Though this was a fantastic resume builder, the best part of this opportunity was the chance to drive across the continent and then back again. I still can't put into words what a life-changing experience it was to drive through the incredible landscapes that make up Canada and the United States. I developed a deep appreciation for National Parks, learned loads about western expansion, and got to visit some amazing monuments and locations. It has continued to inspire me months after my return.
I had no idea at the beginning of 2012 that I would get to fulfill so many of my dreams: To take an epic road trip across the country, to visit Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone Park, to ride to the top of the Space Needle, try surfing in the Pacific, and cheer on the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
I hope that 2013 gives me the opportunity to take a similar road trip, this time south: through Smoky Mountain National Park, the Carolinas, and Nashville, TN!
2. All of the challenges I've been able to face
There are a lot of painful memories from 2012, but every single one of them taught me something important about myself or gave me the chance to grow in a positive direction. After a particularly harrowing mistake from way back in February, I told myself "Every decision, even wrong ones, bring me one step closer to deciding what I want and who I want to be." I have to remind myself of this constantly, because I can be WAY too hard on myself. All of the times I've been unhappy or stressed have usually resulted in a stronger, more confident me.
3. My youngest brother
We've gotten so much closer in the last few years, but this year I appreciate him more than ever. He is kind, smart, and funny--all around, just a great kid. He reminds me that I am a good person, and that I can be even better. His dedication to his goals constantly inspire me to push that much harder to reach my own.
4. My car
My life would have been infinitely harder without my Accord. I know I just wrote a post about the dangers of loving things, but I think if my car were a person, I would marry it.
5. Friday Night Lights
I love this show. If this isn't obvious, it soon will be, because I feel the urge to mention Tami Taylor in just about every post I write. This show inspires me to become a better person, and more than one difficult situation I've been in this year has been resolved by asking the question: "What would Tami Taylor do?" The Coach and Tami have the kind of relationship I aspire to someday, and the quality of the writing and characterization in the show is something I aim for in my own writing. This will probably always top my list of favourite TV shows of all time, even though it's been over for over a year.