2014

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I began composing this post many times throughout this year. In my head, at least. When we lost David's grandmother and I cried and cried because I missed her and my own sweet grandmother, too. When I found myself in Sevilla and felt like the world was attainable if I was patient and let it come to me. Whenever I stepped onto a plane-- all 30+ flights-- and was tired of flying but never tired of being up in the sky. When I failed at safe, and learned that I can never succeed making someone else's dream come true. When I let go. And when I was on the other side of the world again, this time following my own heart. 

Each of these moments, individually and altogether, made for one of my most difficult years. I don't know how I made it. In a previous draft, I'd written with resent and reaffirmed notions of distrust, but that's not how I want to remember the year-- let alone bring in the next.

So in no order in particular, these are moments I treasured and cried over and that helped me make it through. It's the small things, after all, that always do.

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My Uruguayan, French, and Catalán friends introduced me to new parts of my home state. 

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I managed to surprise David for his birthday. It required scheming with his mom and secretly packing some of his things and it was wonderful. At this spot along the 17-mile Drive, we saw dolphins in the distance.

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I got to introduce my family to Portland. Around this time, I'd already been up north for about 90% of the time so it was nice to have a piece of home in the place I'd soon call my own. 

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Friends old and new trusted me to share their stories. It was my greatest pleasure and biggest honor.

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In a time when I felt abandoned and defeated, my friends saved me.

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But for most of the year, I was alone. I learned that in the end, you'll forget what you were angry about and only know that you miss them.

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I took walks and made my own luck. Or tried, at least. 

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I followed my wanderlust and traveled alone. I was nervous about driving alone in a foreign country, technology-less, but it was great and absolutely worth it. Croatia took my breath away.

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I made it back to my second home. I couldn't believe it. Florence, Tuscany, and Italy will always have my heart.

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I couldn't stop looking at the sky.

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And I couldn't be happier to come home.

A dear friend told me, "You are worth it-- don't ever lose sight of that." When she told me, I teared up because it was something I'd stopped believing. It's my mantra from here on out.

In 2014, I learned that this life is mine.

Wishing you all the light and love in this new year.