Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

It started out pretty good. And in relative order here are the things I learned/happenings of the year.

  • I became an English major. 
  • I started writing a book called, Saving Melvin. It's about losing your life to gain it. 
  • My best friend's dad and grandpa died. 
  • I ran (well... really I walked) a 5k with my sister.
  • I survived the Thrailkill... whatever that was. 
  • I took 21 credit hours AND worked 12 hours a week in the spring semester AND lived.  
  • I quit my job at Harris Teeter (yessss)
  • I was in love and I loved. 
  • I went to my first high school graduation and there was a girl named LaVaunda DeShaunda Felicia Marie Smith. No joke.
  • I felt pressure to be perfect and to be someone else than who I am... and I caved. 
  • I became a summer RA in the Commons and talked to students from all over the world! I learned so much about a lot of different cultures and countries! It was so fun :) 
  • My Mandy died. She died in our living room and I felt her last heart beat. She was the best dog ever and I miss her. 
  • I went to the beach with Laura and her family! It was really fun! I got a weird sunburn... and didn't tan haha
  • I became an RA in Wright Hall. This job has aged me a lot and I'm much more assertive than I was in the past. I LOVE my staff (both Maddox and Wright) and even thought it is a LOT of work, I secretly enjoy it because I LOVE the people. 
  • My AMAZING sister came to Belmont! 
  • I became a Belmont Blogger. 
  • I became a peer tutor. 
  • I turned 21-years-old! I'm officially an adult. 
  • I didn't drink anything haha. 
  • I went to the 2008 Debate AT Belmont! Woo Hoo. 
  • I quit making plans. I decided that God has a plan better than anything I can imagine. 
  • I got my heart completely broken, well shattered really. I'm not going to write out the story, but I hope this never happens to anyone ever. No one deserves that. 
  • Somedays I felt fine about it, knowing God had a better plan and finally realizing how blessed I am, other days I felt betrayed beyond all compare and completely defeated. 
  • I realized I'm better off now. 
  • I learned I'm much more tender hearted than I even wish to admit. 
  • I dealt with a lot of crap rather gracefully, or at least that's what I've been told. 
  • I finally started to respect myself and realize just because someone abandons me or treats me badly... I don't deserve it. (big step for me)
  • I struggled with the idea of love and marriage and wondered if anyone can truly keep a promise and will always be there. 
  • I forgave.
  • I gave up. 
  • I looked for God and found Him. 
  • I found a strength I never knew I had. 
  • I learned that despite hurting like hell, JOY is bulletproof. 
  • I decided that love is not worth the fall. 
  • I went to a rally at the capitol building for a Tent City--and had quite an adventure in the parking garage :) 
  • I stayed Up All Night for the "Wright Reasons"
  • I voted for John McCain and Sarah Palin, even though I felt they were very weak candidates. 
  • I decided I could NEVER be a teacher. 
  • I've done some things that I've always wanted to do--just for me. A lot of things I wasn't allowed to do before. 
  • I decided to go to France. 
  • I made new friends.
  • I became a part of a great Bible Study on my hall and got close to a lot of really amazing girls. 
  • I found out that the friends I already had were more amazing than I ever realized. Liberty, Laura, Becka, Lauren, and Jennifer... you guys have changed my life and mean so much more to me than I'll ever be able to tell you. Each of you have showed me so much kindness when I needed more than anything and each in your own way you have impacted my heart and life--and I'll never be able to thank you enough. I love you girls so much and I shudder to think of my life without you all. 
  • I went to see Liberty in Baltimore and had a WONDERFUL time! I love her and I missed her SO much. We got to talk like we haven't in years and it felt like no time had passed at all. 
  • I held her niece, Hettie, an hour after she was born. I had no idea I would feel this way just because I held a baby... but I took a minute to think about how AMAZING life is and how AMAZING God is... and holding that beautiful baby was the most beautiful experience of my entire life. Words cannot express the feeling of awe and the sheer beauty of reality I saw in that precious baby. 
  • I helped put together a birthday party for a 4-year-old and got a balloon popped in my eye and decided I can DEFINITELY wait to have kids... it was nuts.
  • I talked to cool strangers on an airplane. 
  • I saw Jason Mraz and LOVE him!
  • I went to the Winter Wonder Slam.
  • I got to see my freshman roommate and she is awesome.
  • I laughed harder than I ever have before.
  • I got an internship for the Spring. 
  • I had honest conversations. 
  • I more myself than I've been in a while, and I didn't even know I was missing. 
  • I went with friends for nose piercings and tattoos... but I didn't get any. 
  • I don't know what I'm going to do for a career, but I have decided that our career and our calling in this life aren't always the same thing. 
  • I know I love music, kids, writing, and Jesus and my only desire is to love people so that they would know God's love. I guess I'm just excited to see what God does with the passions He has given me. 
  • I feel like God is on the verge of something huge, and I only pray that my brokenness and bitterness doesn't stand in the way. 
  • Most importantly, I found that when the buildings I "built" crumbled, my feet landed on solid ground and I am more convinced than ever that God is a God of love and I'm looking forward to 2009 not being about me but being about Jesus. 
Although a lot of it sucked, a lot of it was wonderful. 

I guess at the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009 I'm simply in midias res.  

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." - Philippians 4:6

"I cannot
be my own, nor anything to any, 
I be not thine. To this I am most constant."
-Shakespeare-- This is supposed to be about love between people, but I think it works for who we are in Christ. 


b said...

Nicole, you are truly one of the most amazing people I know. I am so happy to be your friend.

Laura said...

dear nicole,

aww. you're sweet. you are lots of fun and i am so glad we're friends. my life would not be as interesting without you! haha.

i love you!