Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dear Last Year, I'll Miss You.

Life, you are so busy, wonderful, and complicated
my God is good. Always.
So ends 2011.

To give this year a full review would be beyond human capabilities. It was, after all, just another year, but a full, blessed, previously unimaginable one. I want to write it all out and keep it forever...but that isn't feasible or probably helpful, so here are merely a few mildly random snapshots-

-Roadtrips with people I adore...windows down, music blaring, insane laughter until we howled in pain.

-Sitting on a dead redwood writing anything and everything on anything and everything.

-Scribbling clumsy poetry while knee deep in ocean waves.

-Powell's. Portland. I have no more words.

-Writting my main character's last words in St. James cemetery.

-Starting the thirteenth beginning of Where Loyalties Lie, aided by the epicness of Joe Hisaishi.

-Falling head over-heels in love with Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Not in a creepy way, I assure you.

-Climbing hundreds of steps to see Gdansk from St. Mary's tower.

-Huddling in a circle on the floor while plenty of couches sat abandoned, staring at a candle while everything around us was dark in the rain and wind, laughing and talking with my sisters until.... an undisclosed hour.

-Walking down the beach with both of my sisters and realizing that we did, in fact, grow up.
At least so it appears.

-Watching dear friends fall in love, get engaged, get married, show the world that love isn't what it thinks it is... it's something bigger, more terrifying, more wonderful, harder, more rewarding.

-Singing Psalm 34 with my two year old niece. One of the cutest most beautiful things ever.

-Staring at the stars from an Idaho golf course. Perfect moment chiastically flanked by sprinkler attacks.

-Being wildly proud of my little sister who graduated with flying colors. Then sniffing (aka sobbing) over Chipotle guacamole all the way home for no apparent reason. My poor mother.

-Sitting on the hard floor in our dark room clad in a sweater big enough for you, your laptop, and your pillow pet and writing pathetic prose until you think you can finally sleep...or the sunlight creeps through the blinds and tells you the moment you'd been madly chasing is gone.

-Singing everywhere possible in Poland.
Spending two weeks with an fantastic group of people. Learning to talk and walk outside my comfort zone. Gaudete will never be the same, you most wonderful, lovable, memorable, beautiful hymn!

Most goose-bumpy vivid moment of the year (possibly ever)- singing We all Believe in Malbrock Castle. No way to explain it.

-Walking through silent Gdanks trying to remember all of Hamlet and wishing it could last forever. Then staying up all night with Rachel the magnificent...trying to make it last forever.

-Seeing Les Miserables live. Burst into tears after the first chords. Screamed until I was hoarse at the end.

-Driving the car with leather gloves. Yes, this was on my bucket list.

-Watching my brother marry the woman of his dreams. Miss my brother, glad he has the rest of him now. :-)

-Rereading Chesterton's Orthodoxy...three times. Rocked my world, smacked me on the head, and then had me running around the back yard with my best banshee impressions, picking roses with bare hands, and jumping on the trampoline with a retarded grin.

-Many, many late night conversations when the only options are honesty and insanity.

-Seeing people and doing things I didn't think were possible.
So thankful for friends and for family and for family that are friends and friends that are truly family.

Lessons learned and learning...

-You go places. You meet people. You leave. You miss people.
It hurts.

-Relationships take work. Hard work. Sweat, tears, and lots of laughter.

-Never take myself too seriously and never take what I'm about too lightly.

-Faith isn't a band-aid.
It's more like an intensifier.
Sorrow hurts like hell.
Joy can turn you into a wild lunatic...or make you want to sit completely still in a corner and wonder until your head explodes.
It can also make you sick. And want to be sick forever.

-Real, tangible Hope that you can touch, feel, and taste gives you the highest high of all.

-Light shines whether we have the sense to look for it or not.

Welcome 2012.
What adventures and craziness can you possibly hold that will outshine last year? I'm pretty sure I'm unprepared, but I'm ready. :-)

Praise to a God beyond our imagination for the plans He has had for us since the beginning of this wonderful, swirling, terrifying, exhilarating world.


~Miss Raquel said...

...okay, this made me kind of emotional... ::sniff::

You write so well, dear :)

2011 was good year for me too...especially since I got to see YOU!! Hopefully we can do lotsa fun stuffio together in 2012 ;)

Love you!

dura mater said...

Beautifully written...it was quite a year, wasn't it?

DJ Wilson said...

A commendable post! I loved every bit of it! It inspired me immensely! It also gave me plenty of nostalgic warmth even though I hadn't been involved in any of it.

Julia D said...

Beautiful post, Bethany. :) It really gave me mixed emotions reading the parts about Poland. It was such a glorious time, such an unforgettable experience. I'm so happy to have shared the experiences with you. Those times definitely highlighted MY year. :)

Kay said...

Hi, Bethany! I just stumbled upon your blog. You're such an awesome writer!

Glad you had a good year, and keep up the good work!

Rebekah U said...

WOMAN!! Your blog makes me cry all the time- but I cry because it's wonderful and amazing! Thanks for sharing this: often times at the New Year, I'm so future-focused and always looking for what's next, I don't think about appreciating the past (or even the present sometimes)... your post made me remember how huge, triumphant, and glorious 2011 was!
Love you, sister =D

Jessica said...

Well said! I had a great year last year, but cannot wait for 2012 to unfold! I learnt so much and had some amazing experiences, and just want it all to go on and on and on... :D

Love, Jess

Ben said...

This is an awesome post!

Shayleen said...

Wow, I'm totally excited for this year now :D

Hannah said...

Ooooh, I love G. K.'s Orthodoxy too!!! (though I've not finished reading it for the first time) He's very witty - I laugh out loud reading it all the time. =)

Loved reading the post, too! ;)

Elizabeth Joy said...

Bethany, what an amazing post and what an amazing writter you are! I would say much more, but all that I wanted to say everyone said already in the above comments. :)