February 28, 2007

through the looking glass

I was having a conversation with my sister today about life, well it was more focused than just "life" in general, but the conversation helped me to see how amazing life really is.

I have stopped, breifly, to take a look back on my life - where I've been, where I thought I was going, and where I've ended up (so far)...my accomplishments and encounters in life thus far include:
- nearly being anhilated by a semi while sledding down a hill at age 2 (the semi was parked in a very distant parking lot that no one imagined my little sled would ever reach, I laid down on my sled and went right under the parked semi)
- apparently age 2 was a big year for me, because - my older brother and sister put me in the dryer (with the door open) and I went around 3 times.
- in elementary school I learned to play sports with the boys - football, baseball...it set me up for a lifetime of getting along well with boys and playing hard, not matter who my competition was (boys may have gotten stronger and faster, but sometimes I can still beat them)
- as an 8th grader, I made the girls varsity hockey team and had the opportunity to play in the first ever girls state hockey tournamet.
- I played vasity hockey and softball through my entire high school carreer and my junior and senior years I was a captain for both sports. I realize that I led by example and showed the younger kids that working hard and doing the right thing really does pay off in the end. I was looked up to by many.
- because of my captainships, I was honored to be a member of Leadership Group for two years, a gropu of kids that were involved in extra curricular activites and discussed social issues and problems and different ways of dealing with them.
- my senior year of high school my best friends boyfriend died in a snowboarding accident. This was a tragic and difficult time for us all...but, we pulled together and really helped each other survive and move past this ordeal.
- college showed me many ups-and-downs, including mono and viral lung infections my freshman year, September 11th, car accidents, a brief bout of depression, internships, job opportunities, and becoming more independent. Most of these events in my life were difficult at some point, perhaps the whole time, but they all taught me great things...and have helped shape me into who I am today.
- i also discovered love in college, and all of the joys and heartache that comes with it. It really was an amazing adventure, but after 5.5 years, I realized that we were on different tracks in life for where we wanted to be headed and it was best to end the relationship. it was an extremely difficult thing (breaking your own heart and someone elses), but I really took control of my life and my destiny when I did it. I was awakened to knowing that beyond the love and support of my family and friends, I am responsible for myself and for creating the life that I've always dreamed of. I am not dependent upon a boyfriend or husband for anything. It's all about me and what I want. That's not to say that I don't like having a significant other in my life, it just means that my life can be just as fulfilling and exciting without one.
- at age 23, I got my first job....5 weeks later I quit that job to pursue my current career which utilizes my college education. I am now the Sr. Graphic Designer of a small ad agency in St. Paul. And I love my job. There are days that I hate my job, but for the most part, I love my job. I have a lot of freedom and get to do many, many different things. At the age of 24, I became our company's entire web department...and have expanded our web-based work as well.
- at 25, I purchased my own home, what an amazing (and horrifically overwhelming) feeling! But it's nearly 8 months later & I'm still doing it. It's really great lying in bed at night, and thinking to myself...hey, this is all mine! I am still shocked when I realize that I accomplished something so great, something that I really thought would NEVER happen.
- beyond work and monetary accomplishments, I have made some other phenomenal discoveries in life... I have always known what a great family I have. A family who has always supported and loved me and helped me in whatever ways they can. A family that I have gotten to see many different parts of this world with, and a family I have grown and discovered great things with.
but, one very amazing thing I am so extremely greatful for has developed over the last year and a half. a little background, first, I have always been a friendly person. i've made friends relatively easily, but I have a tendency to be a bad judge of character, and some of these "friends" I've made have turned around to burn me in one way or another. I have a really hard time finding good people to be my friends. but when I look back through life, i see certain people that i realize are very good people and very good friends. some of them I have lost touch with for a while, or we have gone our separate ways, but always we come back to each other...these are really my true, very good, friends. Dana & I met each other at a very young age, playing together during out brothers hockey games...it wasn't until we were on the same hockey team in 8th grade that we became good friends, such good friends we were insepparable for nearly a year. as we grew and our lives changed, we grew apart, then back together again, over and over. now, we are good friends who can call each other to catch-up or confide whenever we need to, but we can also go months without talking, mainly because we live very different lives. I still consider her one of my best friends, no matter how long it is between chats. Jennie is another very good friend of mine. Her and I met our freshman year of high school in english class - we were in-school friends throughout high school, always getting along well, but never hanging out outside of school. until our senior year was coming to an end, we realized it was become friends or loose touch possibly forever...so, we became friends. again, we were friends that talked and saw each other pretty sporadically - I was at school in duluth and she stayed in the metro area, we led very different lives, with very different circles of friends. no matter what the distance, we were still always there for each other. and then our friendship was put to the test - I made a life-changing decision in November of 2005...to break up with my boyfriend of nearly 6 years. I was scared to death. but in the wake of all that was happening to me, jennie grabbed me by the hand and led me all over the place...we went to happy hour, pub crawls, art museums, shopping, coffee, concerts, parties...it didn't matter what we did, we just did it and had the most fantastic time doing it. and i realized - here is this girl I have known for about 10 years, we've been friends for a long time, but not really close friends, and when I needed her she jumped up and took me under her wing. she brought me out, showed me a good time, let me cry on her shoulder, made me laugh, and introduced me to a lot of really fabulous people. it is because of jennie that i have many of the friends that i have today. it may take me a while to see people for what they really are, and I may have been stomped on by some of those "friends" but I'm really glad that I have endured the bad relationships, because they make me appreciate the good ones that much more. And, I finally feel like I am coming into my own, with some really great, lasting, frienships...the kind you can really trust. I have learned a lot in my life so far, and life is truely getting better with time. It's so fantastic! I'm glad that I approach love (including friendship-love) with reckless abandonment.

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