2012 has been full of ups & downs, accomplishments & heartache and deserves a bit of recognition.

So many wonderful, significant events and accomplishments were made this year that I doubt I will be able to list them all here. I:

–          Befriended dozens of pelicans, to the point that they came to recognize me and did not fear or shy away from me.

–          Rescued a pelican.

–          Traveled up and down the east coast (twice).

–          Graduated college for the first time, summa cum laude.

–          Earned an invitation to Alpha Phi Sigma as a result of achieving a perfect 4.0 GPA in my Criminal Justice courses.

–          Took up photography (and continue to learn).

–          Landed my first-choice job prior to even finishing college.

–          Made so many new friends, and reconnected with many old friends.

–          Returned to the city I have felt is ‘home’.

I will continue to push myself to focus on the above experiences in order to view 2012 in a positive light as it will likely always be the worst, most difficult year in my life as a result of having lost the love of my life: Dallas. It will always be painful; it will always lend an air of darkness to such an otherwise decent year.

Both good and bad can always be found, it seems. Though I fail to see anything good about Dallas being absent from my life, I cannot forget how much it caused me to learn. Particularly in regards to who my true friends are (and aren’t) as many chose this time to show their true nature, while others simply disappeared. Anything that brings learning holds at least some value.

Working through school was difficult, but as I continue academically it will only become more difficult and I will use my past experience to help me through. This was another time that provided life lessons as again, not everyone stuck around for it. As if the education and career I landed as a result of completing my undergraduate degree were not enough, there is the value of discovering new friendships and freeing oneself from the fake friendships.

For the duration of my life I have felt that ‘family’ means those we chose to surround ourselves with, not necessarily just blood relatives. I consider anyone who has stuck by me this far to be my true family. During such a tumultuous time with friendships collapsing everywhere I look (is there something in the air?) I cannot help but feel a constant sense of appreciation for my family.

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