2008. Every time that number goes through my head, I donít know where to begin. Should I start with the mountains or the valleys, or on the slopes between?
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Maybe I should just spill it all out at once. 2008 was a rollercoaster of a year, the kind of rollercoaster that makes you vomit from its turbulence yet exhilarates you in a way nothing else can. Iíve been a daredevil all my life, and this year, I really proved myself as exactly that.
I dared to be wide-open and brutally honest. I explained to one of my best friends the shameful, hate-filled secret Iíd kept for six years-every detail, no matter how dark, that still lived in my memory. And when I was through, after hearing that terrifying truth, he looked at me as who I had become, the changed woman. The woman with a big heart.
I dared to be emotional. When one of my closest and best friends from high school suddenly died, I didnít hold back my feelings. I cried right there in the funeral home, not caring who saw me or who thought I was overreacting or who would make fun of me later. I knew I owed those tears to my friend, who had done so much more for me than I deserved during the seven years we had known each other, and to this day, hasnít stopped influencing me.
Now that Iíve figured out where to start, I realize that 2008 didnít begin for me on January 1. It began on March 24, when I had the conversation that forever changed my life and experienced the loss that forever changed my perception of life. In one day, I became a new person.
The road hasnít always been smoothly paved since then. Iíve had my setbacks and moments when I felt worthless and trouble with dealing with my complicated self. Sometimes I lost sight of being the woman with a big heart and felt like Iíd never be that good. Yet every time that image of my friend flat-out telling me that I have a big heart always came to mind.
Before 2008 came around, I thought people respected me only for my intellectual ability and fashion sense. I had felt more coveted than wanted, more admired than respected. Then two of my most treasured friends proved me wrong, and gradually I began to look at myself through the perception of those who really do respect me for who I truly am. It took a while to sink in and to wash away the trivialities on which I had prided myself. It took failing a test for me to realize that no one cared what was on my transcript; they cared about what showed from inside my heart. I hope they all saw a big heart in me.
2008 was hard but mostly a lot of fun, failed yet ultimately successful, overwhelming yet exhilarating, wild while staying real. 2008 wasÖwell, 2008. There will be no other year just like this one. Itís earned the title of the craziest year ever, one of the most memorable years ever, and a special place inside my heart.
"Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."-Jeremiah 33:3, King James Version
"Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path."-Psalm 119:105, New Living Translation
The present and future are not about who you were in the past-rather, they are about who you are and who you will become.
"Writing is truly glorious in that an author can put on paper the words that fear denies the voice to speak."-from my short story, "Set Free"
"...What you feel is what you are;
What you are is beautiful..."
-from "Slide" by the Goo Goo Dolls
Life surprises you! And I'm talking about the good stuff, because a bad surprise is not a surprise at all, it is just shock and horror. All of these good surprises, they are rewards, and the things that happen to remind you that you matter and that you should make yourself faithful so that you can be deserving of all of life's good surprises. Every wonderful surprise in life is a chance to flourish, so grab life by the horns-but don't ride, steer instead: life's horns are life's joystick. You can handle it, because your life's horns are made especially for you. If you don't give up, all of this will hold true and life will continue to surprise you.
Aubri, a. k. a. "Leopard Lady"