I really can't believe that we're already ringing in a new year. It seems like it was just a few weeks ago that we were celebrating the arrival of 2011. And yet, it also seems like it's been 2011 for a very long time. Isn't that how it always is with time?
I've been thinking a lot about this past year and all that has happened. It's been a pretty pivotal year for me. Not because there have been any big events in my life---I haven't graduated from college (yet), I haven't gotten married, I haven't moved or made any other really big outward changes---but because I have changed. I've learned a lot about myself, and I think I've grown a great deal.
My personal journey through the year 2011 has been long and winding and full of ups and downs. I've laughed until I couldn't breathe and my stomach hurt; I've cried until I've wondered how I could have any tears left. I've met and befriended some people, strengthened relationships with people I already knew, and rekindled friendships with people I thought I'd never see again. I've developed my musical talents in ways I'd never expected. I've said more goodbyes than I care to count, but I've also said a great deal of hellos I'd never dared to hope for. I've shouldered burdens I never thought I'd be equal to. I've written poems, arranged music, and experienced many other forms of personal revelation and inspiration. I've studied and learned and progressed in my education, taking some classes that I've thoroughly enjoyed and others that have driven me absolutely insane. I've made a number of big decisions concerning my future involving possibilities I'd never before considered. I've made mistakes and done things I shouldn't have---and occasionally chosen not to do things that I should have done. I've drawn closer to my Savior through scripture study, music, interactions with others, prayer, and personal revelation. In the words of Souza, which are printed on the cover of my journal, I have danced as though no one was watching me, loved as though I had never been hurt before, sung as though no one could hear me, and tried to live as though heaven were on earth. I've been blessed beyond my capacity to express or even to understand.
I'm so grateful for the incredible experiences I've had this year, and I'm grateful for this year ahead where I can continue to learn and grow, to try my strengths and become the best person I can be. The year 2012 is likely to be even more pivotal for me than the year 2011 has been. I'm looking forward to it, and I hope it will be a truly wonderful year. Happy New Year!