Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year, New Me...

So it's out with 2011 and in with 2012. 2011 was a rollercoaster of a year. So many ups and downs that I can't even begin to tell you how crazy it was, but here we are in a brand new year and for that I am so thankful. It's a clean slate and a time to start anew.

I learned several things in 2011 that will help me shape 2012 into the year I want it to be. I have so many goals and things I want to accomplish. I can't wait to see if I can make it happen. But in typical style, here is my little homage to 2011:

Things I learned in 2011

1. People Change: I can remember being in high school with my old friends and thinking that we were going to be best friends forever. Nothing was going to seperate us and we were all going to marry brothers and live next door to each other. However, after I left for college, I sought out to do bigger and better things with my life and my friends all kind of disappeared. We have all worked really hard to stay in touch and we often chat weekly or at the latest monthly, but I've realized that we aren't the same people we were. We've all grown into the people we were MEANT to be and not necessarily who we WANT to be.

2. Not being married isn't that bad contrary to popular belief: Austin and I have been together for 5 and a half years as of Dec 17, 2011. For some people, that is an unacceptable amount of time just to be "dating". However, it works for me and him. We are just as happy dating as many people are married. I hate that our "dating" status prevents us from really hanging out with the "married" folks sometimes though. I really miss a lot of friendships and often feel left out of things because of this. And even though I get emotional about it sometimes, I realize that I have to just do what is right for me and not for everyone else.

3. New friends are awesome: Austin and I have had the great opportunity to become friends with some new people recently. We met Kelly over a year and a half ago and she has totally been a great friend. We hang out often and she always has words of advice or encouragement when I need them. We met Paige and John back in June when they opened a resturant here in Byram. We went in and just started chatting them up and the next thing we knew, we were being invited out to hang out with them. Now there isn't a day we don't see them. Their friendship has helped pull me through a lot of tough times recently. I am so thankful that God has put them in my life. :)

4. I miss my college friends more than ever: Have you ever had a group of people who you just know that you are meant to be with? Well that's how I feel about my college friends. My girls from the "W" are some of the strongest women I know. Although we all seperated out after college all the way from the south east to the west, we still keep in contact and make new memories. It is so nice to have people that you just "click" with. I value their friendship so much more now that we don't see each other every day. I love you girls and can't wait to meet up in 2012!

5. True love is felt as much as it is seen: Anyone who knows my boyfriend Austin, knows that once you meet him, you can't help but love him. He is one of the most selfless people I have ever met and is more than willing to bend over backwards to help anyone who needs it. He has been there for me more than anyone else has ever been. He has dried many tears, held my hand even though we were lost, and has shared more laughter with me than anyone else. We have had our share of ups and downs, but I know in my heart that he is my soul mate. I can't wait to see what our future holds, but I know it's going to be full of love and happiness. (P.S. We looked at rings over the Christmas break! That's a step in the right direction.)

6. I've changed: Nobody really thinks about how they have changed over the course of the year, but I feel like I have really grown. I've tried to be more active in my friends lives. I've tried to help others more than myself. I've studied harder, played harder, and loved more this year than I EVER have before. I guess growing up is happening all at once because it feels like just yesterday I was turning 18 and heading out on my own for the first time.

7. Family is EVERYTHING: I have spent more time with my family this year than ever before. I have made a major effort to be a bigger part in my sister/mom/dad/cousins/uncles/aunts lives than ever before. We have been through a lot of pain this year with losing my Uncle James right at the end of May. I haven't felt pain like that since my Pawpaw passed away 6yrs ago and my cousin Anthony passed away 3yrs ago. Clinging to family has been the one thing that has helped get me through. We have laughed so much more, taken more pictures, and made more memories this year. I am looking forward to making even more in 2012.

There is probably a lot more I should have addressed, but I'm going to end it here. 2011 was great but I can't wait to see what 2012 holds. I hope you'll come along for the ride with me. Until then, this is Jana off to find another adventure...



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