I think we started out with me resolving to drink more water and maybe work out a few more times a week. I think I also began this year excited for some change in my life; to graduate, climb some mountains, leave for school. And 2015 you have delivered on that one. During the summer of 2015 I found a strange lump on my chest. I had graduated a week or two earlier and summer was hot and very rainy. I was worried about this lump so we visited my doctor who referred me to the hospital to have a tumor ultrasound done to rule out anything “serious”. The results of the ultrasound were inconclusive. We scheduled an appointment for a biopsy and I remember the 2 weeks leading up to the appointment that I was completely terrified. All I could think about was leaving for college in 2 months and how important this next step was to me and how unfair this all was and how not ready I was for a tumor and how precarious a life might be and being scared scared scared mine might be in danger. I think at 18 years old we don’t often think about this a lot or ever. At 18 you’re planning to live forever and do everything and this seems viable. I suddenly realized that maybe, just maybe you’re not quite as invincible as you might think when you’re a teenager with a lot of plans and you’re counting down the days till the weekend.
I had the biopsy done and waited with white knuckles and a lot of prayers for a few days for the results, very terrified and busily making lists on lists of everything I would bring to college. My results came back benign and everything is okay and I am wonderful. I am blessed and can not say that I have any idea what it is like to have a life-threatening illness in my 19 years and I pray for those who do, you are stronger than I ever will be. But for a few weeks in my comfortable life I was lucky enough to be given the stark realization that things are not permanent and life is fleeting and we are guaranteed absolutely nothing on this planet. So thank you 2015 for this. A few weeks after that I started this website and started saying more and trying new things and I began to create a life that was a bit fuller. I appreciate mornings and dogs and favorite songs and ice cream and little brothers and sisters and the dollar menu at McDonald’s and taking risks and dessert and haircuts and sleeping in like never before. When you are scared of losing things you accidentally realize how much you have.
I left for school in August and I would also like to thank 2015 for this. And for the humans that I met during the first few months there that I call my best friends today. I have never known such warm, huge-hearted, inspiring souls whom I hope to become more like. Thank you 2015 for renewing my faith in humanity and pushing me way out of my tiny bubble of a comfort zone. And 2015, my life is not perfect this December. But I do not chase that anymore. I appreciate where I am, even if it’s a mess and I have no idea what I’m doing sometimes. (a lot of the time) Trust the universe, trust yourself, go on more hikes. I’m not afraid of that crystal ball dropping and a new set of 365 days beginning anymore. I still probably don’t drink enough water and let’s be honest I could stand to visit a gym a little more often… maybe we can try that again this year.