I guess hindsight is always clearer (if not 20/20), so it’s easy from here to think how silly I acted at the beginning of 2013 (and really especially at the end of 2012). I was far from the best or even a good version of myself. I spent an inordinate amount of time and energy worrying about things I had no control over or that certainly did not matter very much at all. I spent a lot of time obsessing about what was next for me, what I wanted to be next for me, who I wanted to be, how I’d become that person. Would I do Peace Corps? Should I? Could I?
I could mark 2013 with a lot of tangible life events, some amazing, some not great. The only grandparent I grew up with died, while I was alone in a foreign country. I left my job, my country, my family and moved across the world to a country I had never heard of before my Peace Corps nomination arrived. I turned 25 and somehow learned to deal with my birthday with some grace and composure. I began studying Romanian and somehow started to pick up some Russian by diffusion.
I found a new love for sunflowers, running and candy – well maybe not new, but now I live in the land of bomboane.
The relationships I’ve had for all or most of my life changed drastically, as I left my childhood home. I found many people that for whom my leaving if not strengthened our relationships, at least proved they will stand any test. I’ve been impressed by those that have weathered the distance and when I’m being honest, less than surprised by most that have not.
I started what seems like an entire life’s worth of new relationships in the second half of the year – two new families that welcomed me into their homes, the 90some Peace Corps Volunteers in Moldova, several of whom are on track to become best friends for life, one boyfriend, several reliable, interesting, inspiring and immeasurably valuable Moldovan friends and most importantly a new relationship with myself.
While these tangible and intangibles are some of the highlights looking back, they certainly can not paint a full picture of 2013, afterall it was an entire year. I don’t know that any year can truly and fully be summed up in some manageable blog post, but it seems like this year in particular marked so many changes, both tangible and intangible that I can’t truly do it justice by listing moments, achievements, changes.
There were so many moments when I felt my cup runneth over, where I was so awash in how blessed I am. There were so many moments where I was self-centered, awash in the surmountable and non-terminal challenges of my world. There were countless moments of total self-assurance and moments of insecurity beyond measure. There were moments where I was so at peace and others where the internal turmoil boiled over those around me.
However 2013 began, I can say that by the end it was a year of incredible growth, a year that I ended feeling immeasurably happy, secure, self-assured and on track. I can say that it was a year of failures and successes, of love and loss, of laughter and tears, of so many yins and so many yangs, perhaps because 2013, more than any other year in my life has been dominated by faith.
Faith in the future, faith in humanity, faith in my friendships, my family and myself. This year has been defined by taking leaps of faith into the unknown. Leaping into my fear and somehow coming out not only unscathed, but better for having leaped.