Photo by Nino Andonis.
No, I was not immature (or I hope I wasn't) but I felt like I did a lot of growing as a person this year. I started the year kind of numb, a little apathetic, still mourning the death of my father and ended the year feeling the most alive and spiritually fulfilled that I've been to date.
As I said, I started the year in mourning. My mama went to my dad's room at the strike of midnight and broke down in tears as it was our first New Year without him. I also cried but I think it was harder for her as they were married for nearly 27 years before he passed. A week into the New Year I decided that I did not want to be in the rut I was finding myself in. I did not like feeling numb to most emotions. I did not like being a walking zombie who did not care about a lot of things. Though my faith thankfully did not take a hit, I was still going through the motions without emotions. To be honest, I didn't really snap out of this state right away. It wasn't until this summer, a year after my father's death, that I truly felt like myself once again. The hardest days for me were what would've been my father's 67th birthday, my birthday, and Father's Day. Thankfully I had amazing friends all year that helped me out. The majority prayed for me to get out of my state depression and mourning. Some went to Mass with me and I had two go to the cemetery with me to leave flowers on daddy's grave. I was thrown the best birthday party ever (breaking my bad birthdays "curse")... and basically everyone made sure I never felt alone. Whether they were online friend or friends I got to see in person, I was (and still am) to have truly amazing friends.
Of course, this year had the usual ups and downs. I was sick but less than usual. The anxiety was under control for most of the year (and, bonus!, I finally got to the root of it so I can hopefully move on) and I didn't have many health problems except for the stomach bug I got a few days ago (now you see why I haven't posted in a week?) and two allergic reactions. Otherwise, I'm solid, man. lol. :D School was a trip. For those following my tweets and my blog posts, y'all know what I mean when I say that school was interesting. Little did I know that my experiences at school would bring me so much attention... which I am still surprised by.
The CINO (Catholic in name only) College post unexpectedly blew up. I kind of wanted to hide, to be honest. I don't like being in the spotlight (or the limelight) but my post helped others which is all I wanted. I ended up on websites like the Cardinal Newman Society and First Things blogs. I got tons of comments, emails, and phone calls (seriously!) with words of encouragement, advice, and even schools offering to help me transfer to their schools where being faithful Catholics was the norm and feminist, liberal agendas were nowhere to be found. As I explained, financial and family responsibilities ultimately kept me at the CINO college I wrote about but I'm much more confident going into the next semester (though I don't start until the 10th). I have friends who help me out when I'm stuck on things that professors bring up. I'm still learning about our beautiful Faith so I occasionally need help. Thankfully I also have Patrick Madrid helping me which is amazing 'cause I'm learning a lot from him. Oh and something else that Patrick helped me with was getting my first article published in Envoy Magazine. I am very grateful for having had the opportunity and it only solidified my dream of doing what I want to do for a living which is writing. I still have a lot to learn but I've been fortunate enough to have good guidance. :)
Personally, I think I've grown a lot. From the late night-early morning epiphany I had last January in which I realized how lucky I am to have left my old life and dedicate myself to my faith and to doing God's will to coming out of the spiritual desert I just came out of, I have never felt closer to God than I did this year.
Oh, and in case you're wondering what I'm talking about when I say spiritual desert... in a nutshell, I just spent Advent being attacked by you-know-who with things I did not even know I would ever have to deal with. I had to deal with a lot of issues I'd unknowingly buried when I was a child and I went through a really rough time right before (and during) finals. I believe that if it hadn't been for the second 54-day Rosary novena I'm currently doing and my soul sister Angelica being there for me, I don't know how I would've (emotionally) survived. I had weak but secularly logical "valid" reasons to be angry at God, but I wasn't and still am not. I know other people who've gone through similar experiences have blamed God and/or lost their faith but I didn't. If anything, I came out of the spiritual desert with a greater love of God... and it's given me absolutely no doubt as to what my vocation is. On the contrary, I'm looking at the whole experience as a blessing. Though I spent nearly a month in constant tears and trying to make sense of everything, I feel like I had to go through everything in order to be completely ready for my future role as wife and mother. I'm still single and am in no rush, but never before have I felt more ready for whenever my future husband decides to show up. In fact, I'm excited that I will be sharing my vocation with someone and that we our love of God will only get strengthened by it. (Though, knowing men, whoever the guy is probably got lost and has refused to ask for directions thus making me wait a little longer. Typical. lol. jk.) I will soon write more about this -- you have been warned. ;)
Anyway, I've learned so much about myself and I've gotten some comfortable in my own skin that I feel like I can say that 2010 was the year this nerd grew up. The months of February (at the beginning of Lent) through May were especially good for me on this front. Maybe it was because I was entering my 25th year or maybe it was because, as I believe, God is getting me ready for the next phase of my life but I really did grow as a person and I thoroughly enjoyed the process. By the way, who knew that knowing what my temperament, Phlegmatic-Sanguine, would help me on the path of self-discovery? As I said right before my birthday, in my unofficial declaration of independence (from expectations and peer pressure), I decided to embrace who I was and be unapologetic of it. Although I still have a hard time being assertive (except when I fight against heresy and blasphemy in my classes as this is when my passionate Sanguine side comes out; I'm a lot quieter and can be quite shy in person which I know some of you aren't used to online, lol) I don't deny who I am and what I like and am steadfast in my beliefs. I've lost friends in the process but those who were really my friends have stuck around. :) I have a new outlook in life, and no longer live in the past, which has made me very happy with myself and with where my life is heading. :D Needless to say, 2010 was an amazing year for me despite the lows.
And this concludes the final blog post of the year. :D I still have to pray the Rosary novena for the day as well as take care of my mama who's sick with food poisoning (or possibly the start of the flu I just dodged). I hope everyone had a great year. I want to thank everyone who left a comment, sent an email, or sent me a tweet. Y'all made my year that much better. :D
I wish everyone a wonderful 2011 and look forward to seeing what the year brings (besides the start of my senior year this Fall). Oh and my 26th birthday at the end of May can just get lost; I'm good with being 25 and looking like I'm still in high school. lol.
As always, thanks for reading and God Bless!