Saying goodbye to summer is not usually a very popular event. The notion of longer daylight and warmth is something many people like to hold on to. I myself would like to bottle this summer if I could and relive it over and over. This week I will celebrate my 26th birthday and I can’t think of any better way to end this season. A year ago in June I began dabbling in this blogging/writing adventure. I never fully understood the power and transformation it could have in my life along with the doors it has opened and people it has touched. I am beyond humbled by this experience and cannot wait to share with you why.

You might remember my blog “passersby”. Personally it was one of my most favorite to write because it was a story like entry about my trip to Miami for sun, dancing and ringing in the new year. 2012 felt very much like it was carrying big changes and it has not yet disappointed. It has made many things come full circle. That bird that did his business on me could actually have helped to turn my luck around-then again “luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity” 😉 Thanks Oprah, sometimes you know what you’re talking about.

Mom remarried in April-which you would have read about in the entry “twice”..Her now husband is powering through his cancer treatments with an incredible strength and out look.Their love is deepened and life is even more of a gift, with nothing being taken for granted. His daughters have come to truly appreciate my mother’s role is his life. Although living this experience again after losing my father and he his late wife seems unfair-I feel as though God is showing them both that they can overcome this terrible disease and live even more resilient on the other side.

Just as John was hospitalized and diagnosed in May, life had it’s own plan to surprise me while dealing with all of the emotions this brought with it. While checking online for some laughs I came across incredible pictures of a guy traveling I hadn’t spoken to in years. Two summers before we had gone on a few dates but the timing wasn’t right for me, I was newly single and my heart wasn’t necessarily ready for it so we went our seperate ways. To be honest it wasn’t something I gave much thought to since there was alot I needed to rectify in my own world. And now as I look back on how much my life has changed in that time and how much more of ME I am, I would never take it back. I commented on how beautiful his pictures were and we started to catch up. Turns out he had taken a bit of a sabbatical to travel and live the things most people dream of. Naturally, this spoke to me in a way I can’t actually explain. He had been traveling all over the map and somehow we crossed paths again. His desire to see the world alone, be true to his passions and favorite pasttimes made me want to know more. Apparently so did he. Before I knew it I was on a plane to Panama. Probably one of the most adventurous things I’ve done..little miss practical, rule book, master plan maker just taking a chance to visit with someone I hadn’t seen on an island far away. I had to know. It was beautiful-all of it…the sand, the ocean, the jungle, the guy.  Lost time made no difference. We stayed in touch for the months that followed, while he made his way to remote beaches in Indonesia. Wifi was our best friend and worst enemy when not cooperating. It meant whether or not we could speak. But the gift of those conversations each and every time was very thrilling. The emails and pictures and flower delivery with a “can’t wait to see you” note kept me smirking through everything else on my plate. He missed alot of the everyday stuff in my life but I am happy to have him here now-living the little things that matter the most to me.

A few days before I left for Panama I gave an address at my high school’s commencement ceremony. My principal’s invitation to be the keynote speaker was more than an honor but a personal fulfillment for me. She had given 26 years of service to the girls of Maria Regina-also the number of years I’m alive. She spoke at my father’s funeral mass because of how close of a relationship they shared and I was able to give her away as she retired this spring. If that is not full circle I don’t know what is. Being able to share words of wisdom with other young women setting out to the most influential time in their lives made me very keenly aware of exactly where I stand in mine. The parts of the journey I’ve already lived, the decisions-the easy and the hard I’ve had to make and the fate that has led me to the now. All of what’s to come feels very exciting. Partly because I have faith that what you give to the universe is returned in one way or another and that you can change your life to become exactly what you believe it is meant to be. No excuses. Just hard work and gratitude coupled with really, really good company. People that motivate you, cheer you on, set you right, straighten you out when need be.

Speaking of people who believe in you…you would have read in “stuff” that I have ideas for taking my writing bigger. I wrote that somewhere down the road I could see a brand, a small business, a way to connect my passion for the written word, my love of people and their stories, my counseling background and now business sense. I called it “My Gift, My Word”. It has life now. Without ever verbally discussing this dream with him, a friend of mine gifted me the URL 🙂 He simply wrote a message that he wanted me to get going..and that I have a year to make this dream become a reality. http://www.mygiftmyword.com/  The content is not alive just yet, and my blog is the holding space as it now stands. But I will not let this go, I was flawed by his kindess, his faith in me and the chance to use my words to help other people. This makes me hungry for what’s next.

“Full circle” has happened more than once. I’ve revisited with people and places I thought I’d long forgotten or I’d never come across again. Whether a sour memory or a simple example of ships passing in the night, I’d tried to let them go-but life has other plans. Sometimes you’re brought back in order to scratch it off the list or smile because it’s better now and that’s a comforting thought. Now more than ever I see little signs everyday in the connections I’m making and the people who’ve re entered my world because of the power of circumstance. How we all have something that feeds the other..lessons to teach one another, new alliances that will help each other along the way. Something bigger is going on trust me..once you welcome that in, it’s unbelievable the power that reveals itself.

This birthday is truly a turning point in my eyes-the second half of my twenties. My feet are firmly planted, my heart is swollen with gratitude, my head is reeling with ideas and excitement for the story I’m writing every day. I’ve been told I “dish” a lot of love-but it’s easy to do when you have the most amazing entourage of people in your world. When you know that everyday you go to work you’re happy to be there, what you do actually matters. When I get to hear someone tell me that a blog entry brought up something similar for them or they shared it without someone they know who needed a pick me up. A little something

Summer may be leaving but I refuse to give up this feeling. I’m keeping the light and the warmth to last me. This year when I blow out the candles I’ll be thankful for the 365 days that have passed and each lesson they’ve brought me. I’ll make a wish for the ones ahead too. 

I’m full…and it feels good. Then again, there’s always room for more 😉 

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