Today marks one year since I received news that would change my life. I’m not going to sit here and tell you the dramatic story. That would defeat the purpose of this post. Now some of you may be asking what is the intention of this post. This post is a paraphrase of this past year so I can put it all behind me and move on to the next chapter. It may seem silly to some, but how often do you reflect on the past year besides on New Year’s? I’m guessing not very often.
In a nutshell, the past year was pretty difficult. I faced many obstacles in school, work, social life, and family life. It was not easy by any measure, but I’ve successfully made it until this very day. It’s honestly hard to even believe that a year has passed. Now, here I am sitting in my bed, in my new apartment, living with my new roommates, and writing. It’s a good feeling.
Let’s begin with one of the biggest changes from this past year. I no longer work for my beloved organization, Nellie’s Catwalk for Kids. Due to my crazy school schedule (we’ll get to that part later) I was unable to commit the necessary time that I believed they needed to help grow in a successful way. It was a very difficult decision to give up something I loved and cherished so much. It has been one of the most positive experiences in my life. I have learned so much over the years from patients, their families, and coworkers. I gained skills that I can use in other jobs, but most importantly in my future. NC4K helped me grow into a person that I am proud to be. My heart grew larger, my brain became more intelligent, and my spirit was filled with inspiration from the people who surrounded me. How can it get any better than that? It made me believe that I could change the world one day if I set my mind to it and that is something that makes any experience worth it. To say I miss the organization would be an understatement. In ways I felt like I gave up a large part of who I am to pursue something that would get me to where I was going in the future. It’s a bittersweet situation. It was a decision I had no choice but to make. My school schedule was extremely demanding and school always has to come first. There are no words to describe how happy the relationships with the kids and families bring to me. They are incredible, inspirational, and beautiful people who have taught me so much about life and myself. They are truly amazing. Although I no longer continued my journey at NC4K this past year I did attend the 7th annual fashion show. It was definitely a different experience being a guest! I have never been a guest before, but it was a nice change. It was great seeing all the familiar faces of parents and families. What was even better was seeing their kids walk the runway, just like they have in years past. It was such a heart-warming experience to be greeted by the familiar faces and see the difference everyone there was making in the lives of kids with cancer. It’s moments like those that keep me inspired to make a change in the lives of others and it is inspiring to see all those who support the cause as well. Although I had to end my journey at NC4K much shorter that I would have preferred I hope to see it more as a “see ya later” and not a “good bye.”
I guess the next thing I should write about is sophomore year of college. It was difficult, very difficult. Honors classes after honors classes. Papers, exams, projects, emotional obstacles, physical obstacles…you name it, and I faced it. To add to the stress and chaos of sophomore year I had to endure my first year moved out. Yes it was exciting, but it was not all what I expected. There were a few bumps here and there…. or everywhere. I successfully made it through. I learned a lot about what I like, what I don’t like, what to expect, and to be ready for absolutely anything. I suppose it’s an experience that every college student should go through. There is a lot to be taken away from moving out, good things and bad. I am thankful for the lessons I learned from my old roommates that I will be sure to use this year with my new roommates. Needless to say, sophomore year of college had a lot of ups and downs, but some of the better parts have changed my life in such a great way.
Yes, I became a sorority girl. I love it. I love my sisters. I love the philanthropy. I LOVE IT ALL. Some people can think I’m crazy and absolutely absurd, but that’s okay. Becoming a Kappa Delta has been one of my best decisions in college by far. I have learned so much about myself. I have successfully surrounded myself with a group of girls who inspire me to become a better version of myself each and every day. Most importantly I was blessed with a beautiful family. My big and twin are absolutely amazing and supportive girls who I am so thankful to have in my life. They bring the best out of me when I have a hard time doing it myself. They urge me to follow my dreams and to change the world. They are loving, supportive, courageous, funny, inspirational, and so much more. When I joined Kappa Delta I did not exactly know what to expect. So far, KD has exceeded over and beyond my expectations. I feel very lucky to be blessed with such a great sorority filled with so many great girls. It may seem cliché to some, but it can be difficult to understand if you’re not a Kappa Delta yourself. It’s definitely not for 4 years, but for LIFE.
Majority of my year consisted of school and work. Once summer rolled around I found myself very bored. I was only working at the bar 2-3 nights a week and that was about it. For the first time in 3 years I actually had a “summer.” By summer I mean days where I have nothing to do besides go to the pool and worry about my tan. Pretty boring considering I am so used to being a busy bee during the summer, but in a way it was a nice change. Although my summer was pretty boring, I did have one great thing to look forward too…COSTA RICA!
I fulfilled my number 1 thing on my bucket list and saved the sea turtles. To put it simply, it was amazing. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I am so blessed to have had such an amazing opportunity. I could not thank my parents, family, and friends enough for all the love and support that lead me to my 2-week journey. Life is about living it and fulfilling your dreams. I am lucky to have been able to do the one thing that I have dreamed about for many years. I met a lot of great people, ate a lot of delicious food, and learned a lot of new things. When I was in Costa Rica I had a lot of alone time to reflect upon this past year. My reflections there lead me to the decision to write this post and move on with my life. So here I am, fulfilling another goal I set for myself. Costa Rica is a beautiful country, I was able to see and save sea turtles, hold some little ones, walk the black sand beaches, experience the lifestyle and culture, learn how coffee is produced, see exotic plants and animals, walk through tropical forests, and so much more. In a way, Costa Rica gave me a new perspective on life. I miss it a lot. Not so much the rainy days, but the country and experience itself. I still honestly find it hard to believe that I went, but I did it! I followed my dream.
This past year had a lot of ups and downs. It was one emotional rollercoaster. I lost friends and gained friends. I made mistakes because no person is perfect. I learned from mistakes because that’s what you’re supposed to do. I bonded friendships and lost others. I loved and was loved back. I fought, I cried, I laughed, I smiled, and even threw a couple punches. I succeeded and I failed. I had fun and sometimes I was bored out of my mind. I created lasting memories and put others in the past. I learned things about myself that I liked and didn’t like. I grew as a person in some aspects while took a few steps back in others. I held grudges and let go of others. I consumed so many Starbucks drinks that I could not even give you an educated guess about how many. I faced some of my fears while I am working on others. I read the Hunger Game series, found my new favorite book, and FINALLY started the Harry Potter series. In the end of all this change, confusion, difficulty, and chaos I am coming out as a better version of me. Last year was difficult and it really tested my inner strength as a person. I don’t know if I could say I was as successful as I wish I were, but in the end I still succeeded with the goal to make this year better than ever. So now it’s time to move on to the next chapter…
And so far this one is fabulous.