Happy new year!

It seems that the older I get, the faster time passes by. Wasn’t it just New Year’s Eve 2008 when my little cousin Isabel was born? Didn’t I just get my job at Madewell and then move out of my apartment in West Chester? Wasn’t I just in Paris over Thanksgiving break? Did I really just finish my second-to-last semester of my undergraduate education? 

Isabel just turned 3, and I’ve been working at Madewell for just over 2 years now. My trip to Paris was in 2010, and I’m about to embark on the most independent journey I’ve yet to face: graduating from college. I’ve been a linkedin user for a while now, but I’ve just started looking at my job options on monster.com, Career Builder, and various apps on my iPhone. I’ve envisioned my possibilities — moving to New York City, staying nearby in Philadelphia, or even doing charity work abroad — and it’s been hard for me to grasp. I try to take hold of my future, but my small, shaking hands cannot carry the weight of the opportunities that lie ahead.

I may be unsure of and intimidated by my future, but I am aware of what I am grateful for in the present. I am aware of the great change that has occurred within me over the past year or so, and I am ready to stay mindful and strong during this year of independence, big decisions, self-imposed pressures, and immense growth.

I am grateful for my family. My parents, who have done so much work to remain the strong, loving couple that they always have been. My aunt and uncle, my closest friends and confidantes, and the parents of the greatest joy in my life, little Isabel. My education. The opportunity to learn, not only interesting subject material, but about myself and my relationships with others. My friends. Though I have few close friends, I am grateful for the rush of joy, the onset of laughter, the safety of connection… I am grateful to have people who inject my life with love. My jobs. The beautiful community that thrives at Madewell, and the love of the children and parents at GV.

I am grateful for the little things, too. For snowfall, spring blossoms, summer rain, and the crunch of autumn leaves. For Rookie Magazine, internet memes, beautiful & inspiring images, and cultivating online friendships. For the ability to focus on a task at hand. For mindfulness. For the emotions that music can bring. For self-reflection. For writing.

I am grateful to have lived the life I am living. I am grateful that I continue to find meaning in all that has happened to me, in all of the decisions I make, in all of the people I meet. I have grown immensely in the past year, and for that I am grateful. I look forward to growing exponentially in 2012. 

Bring it on.

  1. birdwings posted this