I ditched my caramel highlights for charcoal brunette, and a sassy sea of layers. I acquired a taste for things like raw fish, and fruits I previously failed to know existed. I began referring to my “flip flops” as “slippahs,” and I wore them – every, single, day. I spent many a weekend playing golf with men old enough to be my father (or grandfather for that matter). I even found myself speaking a tiny bit of pidgin and flashing the shaka in passerby.
I threw myself into my work and traded plenty late nights at the bar with friends, to burn the midnight oil in the office with a cup of coffee. Two-fold; I fervently chased my dreams of career success, while simultaneously learning the importance of not missing the moments in life.
I witnessed characters come and go to the point of numbness, realizing the important ones would remain a part of my life regardless of how near or far they may reside.
I watched my baby sister relocate to Spain to teach English to small children (or keikis as I’ve come to call them). I supported my brother as he made his way to Louisville and the Men’s NCAA DII Soccer Final Four (and found him to have grown head and shoulders above all three of us girls). I celebrated with my sister Natalie as she secured her dream job, and took her coaching to a whole new level.
As I reflect upon the ways in which my life has developed over the course of twelve months; I also cherish those charming constants.
I’ll continue to lean on my parents for their expert insight in making important decisions, and look to them when the occasional ass-kicking is in need.
I’ll always be “that one” who spills coffee in her lap daily, and trips over her trash can on the reg.
I will likely never sacrifice my role as family “peace keeper” and my tremendous preoccupation with the well-being of those close to me.
A small part of me will forever remain that brown-eyed little girl who skipped around the cul-de-sac with a microphone, forming all of the neighborhood kids into teams and commanding them to participate in games, athletic events, plays, and a variety of other activities. Truthfully, I am not sure why they obeyed. Some call it bitchy bossy, I call it “a leader in the making”.
So what difference does a year make?
As for me, I choose to believe it brings newfound experience and intelligence; and I welcome it with open arms.
It is my mother who sums it up most wholly in explaining, “the older we grow, the wiser we become”.
To my friends: a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.