I will start this blog post off with a good dose of honesty.
I didn't expect 2013 to be phenomenal. With the realization that I won't be a mother by 24 and the way last year ended, I wasn't thinking about major life changes in the new year. I thought about a lot of wonderful new changes associated with my business that will come with hard work and determination. But I never really thought about my personal self outside of business and career choices.
Despite a few bumps in the road, this year is already so much different from last. I feel different. I am a different person now than I was before. And every day I feel even more confident in the changes I've seen in myself. My desire to do amazing things and to be a good person. My desire to explore faith, whatever that may mean. My desire to believe in something deeper because I want hope again.
I've gotten to know so many wonderful women the last couple of months, who have made a drastic impact in how I want to live. Women are have beautiful hearts and encouraging words, women who are supportive and present despite their own personal struggles. Women whose stories reassure me that there is a reason to live like I do- to be good and kind despite what situations or people the world throws at me. There's also a renewed sense of appreciation for a few amazing women who have been in my life for quite some time.
Thank you, for being exactly who you are.
In no particular order...
Kiley- You are such a good friend. You've always had my best interests in your heart, even when I didn't agree or listen. And you've always been there to pick up the pieces left behind by people who didn't care for me as much as you do. You've grown up so much in the last year. You've experienced things that hurt you and while it makes me sad, you're going to come through it as a woman who is confident in what she deserves and who I relate to a lot more. You've been in my life for over 7 years and I hope you will always be in life.
Nicole- We are so different from one another, yet so perfect together. You find happiness in a simple life, a life that I love and enjoy. You're a wonderful mother to a little girl who stole my heart and has held it tight ever since. I hope and pray that I can have children some how, some day, because we will end up raising ours together :) When I am old and grey, you will be there with me. Making sexual jokes that make me blush and still trying to convince me that wine is delicious.
Jess- I can't even describe what a difference you've made in my life in the short amount of time I have known you. You've brought me to tears with how thoughtful and loving you are. Your marriage is one that I admire because you are so appreciative and loving. Your friendship I will always value. It is very important to me that people are respectful of what I chose to believe or not to believe. Despite us being so drastically different in that aspect, you never thought less of me for it. I know that we will always be friends, and we were from the minute we started talking to one another. I can't wait to meet you one day. Road trip anyone?
Britney- You are such a beautiful, happy person. I look up to you and the life you've created with your little family. You've been such a rock through the many difficult things I've gone through in the last year. You've never judged me or questioned my judgement, but instead were there for moral support. I can't wait to meet you and your perfect baby boy this year.
Rhonda- You've been more a mother to me than anybody else in my entire life. I am so thankful to be a part of this family and to be appreciated. I am reminded daily of how blessed I am to have found you guys. I know you guys will always be a part of my life no matter how much distance may separate us in years to come.
Jessah- Your story bonded me with you instantly. You're the first person I've ever really known to go through the same struggles with infertility that I do. I feel like I know you despite the fact that we're only connected to one another through our blogging community. You always have a kind word to say when I have sorrow related to infertility, which is often. Similarly, my heart breaks for you when you have a bad day and struggle with the reality of our situations. I think you are a beautiful person and I hope and pray that you find contentment, and that most of all, the blessing of a baby finds its way to you and your husband. You are so kind and deserving.
Sharon- You are such an inspiration. I've only met you once but you radiated so much goodness and beauty. You are one of the most amazing people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Your soul and heart are so good. Your faith is so strong. And lets be honest, your talent and skills are phenomenal. I hope to have a marriage like yours one day, and I aspire to be as good of a person as I know you to be. My heart has ached so much for you and your struggles over the last year, and I just wanted to let you know that from somebody who had no faith a short time ago, you are such an encouragement. I hope you never lose your commitment to what you believe. And above all, I hope you get all the happiness and blessings you very much deserve in life.
Kendra- You are one of the biggest blessings in my life. Since the day I knew you were coming into this world, I couldn't wait to meet you and to be your big sister. You are so beautiful. Beyond anything I ever could have imaged. I've struggled to come to terms with the fact that despite how I've tried to lead by example, you are not me and your life decisions are your own to make. I will always be here for you. I will always support you. I will always encourage you. And I will always love you. I am so sorry that you have to grow up experiencing a lot of the sorrow I did, I just pray that I've made a difference in your life where I didn't have anybody in mine.
Kyra- You are so beautiful. Your soul is so good. I never cared that you weren't the person everybody expected you to be. Autism never bothered me. I loved you even more, and I never struggled to come to terms with the fact that you were different and that you needed a lot more than most people. I have scars all over my arms, still, from enduring your frustrations with communication. It's only as an adult that I now cry for the things in life you won't have. If you weren't Autistic, you would have led such an amazing life. But you are Autistic, and I wish you could understand how much your life has shaped who I am today. I am the woman that I am today because of you. Everything I've aspired to do with my life, everything I love about children and about special needs children, all of my compassion and understanding, all of my patience and desire to do good was formed at a very young age because of you. I've always felt like you were mine. Mine to keep safe and protect, mine to help and mine to hold when the rest of the world couldn't come to terms with who you were.