If my BFF Juli were here she would say it like this, "Goodbye 2010, and don't let the screen door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!" But she always manages to say it much funnier than I can, so just imagine she said it and not me.
But goodbye 2010, I will not miss you. This has been hands-down the most difficult and depressing year of my life. From unemployment, to the roller coaster of emotions that comes with job interviews that never pan out, to the completely horrid experience that was Arkansas, the financial misery that comes with no job, my grandmother having a stroke, to my parents leaving the country, my brother serving in Afghanistan and Africa, and more, no, I will not miss this year at all.
I tried in more ways than one to stay happy. In many respects this was a beautiful year where I was able to do things that mattered to me, such as serve in Haiti, help out at my grandmother's bedside, help friends just by being with them, and spend an entire month focused on service in-depth.
I have enjoyed living near my family again and getting to know everyone better. Before this I was just a cousin who came to visit. I knew everyone and loved them. But now I know them much differently and more personally, as I interact with them much closer and on a nearly daily basis. And it is truly their kindness and support that has really gotten me through the last six months.
I remember when I first arrived in Roanoke back in July. I was given a job at church and discussions were started about an event taking place in February. I politely nodded and listened, but quite frankly didn't care. I couldn't even begin to fathom that I would still be living here come February. I was very certain that I would not!
It has been the year my social life came to a screeching halt, thanks to living in socially destitute places for 9 months of this year, and spending nearly 1 month in another country. Arkansas was a disaster socially. Roanoke would be far much worse, except at least here I have cousins to visit. (Have I mentioned how I am the only single woman under 55 and above 25 in my entire stake (a stake being 6 congregations)? And how I think there is exactly 1 single male I am not related to in this stake? Seriously, my lack of a social life is hardly my fault.)
One of the hardest parts of the year was learning to be happy for other. Here I am stuck in this complicated spot, and my friends were just moving up and beyond me. Great things were happening to other people, but things just kept getting worse for me. It was very hard at first to be happy for others and to be supportive. It is very hard to hear of promotions, new opportunities, even money made, when you've just had your 5th job interview with no response. But learning to be happy for others was probably the best thing that happened to me. It didn't take the pain away from my problems, but I could still be happy in spite of my problems. Learning to focus more on others, and not get bogged down in my own problems too long made all the difference.
This has been a year of gratitude, and learning to be grateful for what I have. I haven't been sick. I have had unbelievably tight finances, but I have survived. I have helped others. I have served others. I have a free place to live. I haven't fallen victim to depression. I found my creative side again. Good things have happened.
But no, I won't miss this year. I say bring on 2011! There are many great things on the horizon for this next year, and I can't wait to get to them! If all goes to plan my post next new years will be from a Peace Corps site a jillion miles from here. And that would be a wonderful thing.
I'm not one for setting new years resolutions. (Why should a solar cycle effect my decisions and activities? I've never understood that.) But if I did set goals and resolutions based on solar cycles, my goal for 2011 would be this- to just be better than 2010.
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