Listen to below video while reading this post. :)
But amidst all of the incredible lows, I experienced equally incredible highs.
I loved unconditionally. I saw the good in people. I met some of the most incredible people on earth. I got a 100% on a college final. I worked my butt off. I realized my biggest dream in life. I made new friends. I shared the gospel. I got accepted to the BYU Journalism program. I made amends with a person who had once hurt me so deeply. I drew closer to God. I became less judgmental. I spent money on frivolous things. I began wearing earrings again. I found the perfect mascara. I started working out. I visited friends I hadn't seen in 6 years. I stayed up late. I complimented strangers. I sang. I danced. I laughed until it hurt. I learned to love myself. And above all, I learned oh so many lessons.
If there's one thing I've learned in 2011, it's that most of the time, the most meaningful things in life turn out to be the things we NEVER. EXPECTED.
I didn't expect to fall head over heels for a boy who would subsequently stomp all over my heart and turn my world upside down.
I never expected to find out that a person I considered to be one of my closest friends had been talking about me behind my back for months.
I didn't expect to have a whirlwind summer romance that I now look back on with nothing but fondness.
I never expected that in August when I moved into my new apartment that my roommates would turn out to be three of the most beautiful, amazing girls on the planet.
I didn't expect it to hurt so badly when my best friend left for his mission in Colombia and I never thought I would miss him so much.
I never expected that I would develop an incredibly close friendship with a boy three years younger than me and I never expected to be okay with it.
I never expected all of the struggles, all of the pain, all of the tears.
But I'll tell you what I really never expected. I never expected to learn the most from the most painful of experiences. I never expected to find joy and happiness in a world full of turmoil and strife. I never expected to find myself amidst all of the adversity.
I never expected that my most cherished memories would stem from the most unexpected experiences. As I look back on 2011 and look ahead to 2012, I have one thing to say: Screw the saying 'expect the unexpected.' No. Absolutely not. Expect nothing more than to have your breath taken away by all that life has in store. Because, without fail, there are always wonderful things just around the corner. What fun would life be if we always expected everything that happened? How dreary and drab it would be if the unexpected, however happy, sad, or terrifying, never occurred.
"Come What May and Love It."
Accept it but don't expect it. It's like Michael Buble put it...It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life...And I'm feelin' good.
Embrace the past and promise yourself a better future. Because, truth is, we're all better people than we were a year ago. We've all come so far. And in another 365 days, I can promise we'll all be even better people. Trust me.
See you then? :)