December 28, 2013

A Look Back and a Glimpse Forward

At the start of 2013 I had an abrupt change in my life and was feeling a bit hopeless. I turned to my BFF to help guide me, as she has always been one to spice up her life with goals. I didn't want to make a list of resolutions. I have never been one to do so anyways but I wanted to do something more significant. Thus came my first "year motto". Creating a motto for my year to come really set a tone for what I wanted to do. And instead of setting limitations on what I would accomplish, the motto would allow me to move and grow but be flexible. My motto for 2012 was: "I will live more honestly and take more chances, while exploring and expanding who I am".

In May of 2013 I took a look back at what had transpired so far in my life and related it back to my motto. Life was really bitting me in the derriere, but I was looking on the bright side. Now that the year is coming to a close I want to take one last look back and really flesh out the year behind me and then look to the year ahead.

Live more honestly:
I stood for things I believe even if they went against things my family and friends believed. Whether it was correcting my sisters continued use of "You're so gay" or gay marriage discussions with family and friends. I was more open with my differing opinions.

While I attend church, I have not bended my stance on my reasons for doing so. I attend institute while still being honest to myself (though I may not be as vocal on things, I made sure to never say anything I didn't believe).

Take more chances:
I secretly traveled to L.A. to spend a weekend with a guy I was dating long distance (he also traveled to Portland for a weekend). This was so out of my comfort zone and normal way of living. I do not spend money freely nor do I take risks both of which were required for this secret trip.

I took one class each term that would challenge me, expand my mind and shake my comfort. I took Philosophy of Sex and Love because I knew discussing those topics are not something I am comfortable with and the opinions in class would strongly go against what I believed. I took a Politics in Fiction class because I hate reading books and find no enjoyment from them. I read all the books assigned in class. While I didn't enjoy them all I did enjoy one and passed the class with a high A.

I am stronger, mentally and physically, then I give myself credit for. My cancer has not come back and all my scans, x-rays, blood draws and doctor visits have a happy ending. Next year my doctor said we can seriously reduce the amount of visits. My pre-cancer handed me four surgeries, lots of pain meds, more doctor visits and more health costs draining my wallet. My last two check ups have produced significantly smaller growths and in-office treatments negating the need for surgery. My doctor thinks the pre-cancer is finally going away but we will keep checking it every few months just to make sure.

I produced my very first term with a 4.0 GPA. I have come very close many times before but was ecstatic to finally get it. I have two terms left and have already applied for graduation and will graduate with honors.

I am still crafting the motto to live by for 2014 but I have an idea where I want to go with it. I want 2014 to be a year where I really develop who I am. Since I will be on my own, in a state removed from family and past my formal education, I believe it will be a ripe time to really find myself.

I have been looking at the word metanoia. A basic translation means to repent. However some other readings into the word bring forth a deeper meaning (much like in LDS thought). Metanoia means a profound, usually spiritual, transformation; conversion. Or the journey of changing one's mind, heart, self or way of life.


  1. It's so easy (and so frequent) that blog entries focus on the negativity we see around us, making sense of things that seem to make very little, trying to interpret things that only confuse us further... It was so refreshing and awesome to read this positive look back and forward. I love the idea of a motto rather than a list of yearly "requirements." Here's to 2014 being the best year ever!! -Justin

    1. Thank you. I agree, it is easy to blog about the not so good in our lives as a means of therapy.