2012 In Review

2012 may go down as one of my most memorable years.

My family’s Christmas cards put it succinctly:
“Shannon graduated undergrad, entered graduate school and got engaged!”

And while that adequately sums up the biggest events of my life in the past 365 days, a few other experiences along the way taught me indelible lessons. I want to highlight those memories; they each deserve a few moments in thanks — even if they didn’t seem ‘life-changing’ at the time.

Life’s the total sum of your individual experiences, after all (remind me who said this again?).

2012

revealed the importance of:

& – Silence (writing a  This I Believe statement for my Leadership class forced me to look closely at where I find my faith).

& – Waiting (it seemed like my acceptance letter from UNC’s speech-path program took forever to come out. I was a neurotic mess. But I learned to rest in God’s plan; worrying contributes not one iota of good to your application…).

& – Prayer (Praying more regularly is on my 2013 Resolutions. I’m lost without it. I learned that first hand).

& – Forgiveness in a Relationship (remember when I talked about how easily my relationship with Bryan can  become self-centered?) and Friendship in a Relationship (I’m engaged to my Best Friend and when I say that I’m not just settling for a cliche statement; that actually means something. I think this year was when I finally realized that about me and Bryan).

& – The Gospel (Romans is the most beautiful book of the Bible. Try to convince me otherwise).

& – Your Mental State While Running (I kept pushing through my half-marathon (even though I doubted myself near the end, I didn’t stop). I learned I can run 13.1 miles — and enjoy it. It’s giving me confidence to continue running).

& – Differences (I don’t know that I wrote about this, but as many of my friends have become engaged and/or married in 2012, I realized how different people act in relationships, how different the things  they consider important in relationships are and how those differences are really really okay — believe me, this is a big deal for me.)
(This realization has helped me to be joyful at weddings and engagement parties — many of which seem extravagant and frivolously silly … and now look at me: engaged woman!)
(I think my next lesson will be learning how to gracefully throw a party for yourself and your fiance when you really don’t care about bows or colors or decorations or locations or a host of so many other things… Okay, rant done. Next!)

& – Friendships in Undergrad (That time is so special, and unique for making and keeping friends. I’ve seen many of my friendships deepen and grow and some nearly disappear: It’s not the same once you graduate.) and Friendships in Grad School (I’ve been blessed to befriend people who are on a similar track to mine and who share my narrow interests and yet who are from so many different backgrounds and backstories. I often sit in awe knowing that I get to be a part of that.)

& – Family (I learn this every year. They are my support system and the ONLY people I wanted to be with the minute after Bryan and I were engaged).

I realize many other things happened in this world in 2012 — you have only to click over to nytimes.com to see that. And I appreciate / worry about / want to make a difference in those things. But for now, I’m saying a prayer of thankfulness for these lessons I’ve learned (and am still learning) — I’ll be building up from these for the rest of my life.

Tomorrow, you’ll find my New Years Resolutions on this blog!

Goodbye, 2012!

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