January: I started off the year with a nasty cold/flu (the first in 2-3 years). However, it wasn't all that bad. :D I also started my Senior Thesis. Most of it was done on my own (my adviser was pretty MIA with all the Religious Studies majors; or so we discovered on graduation day) and I was utterly nervous about tackling it. A minimum of 40 pages written and the max was 50 pages. Despite my worries, I applied the war paint and began the four month (you read right) task of completing it. Another dragon I encountered, difficult professors. If I thought my Religious Studies professors didn't like me... hoo, I was about to experience the worst professor in my academic career. She made me cry in class a couple of times. That bad. Still, I was determined to do well in my courses and graduate with a good GPA (academic overachiever, party of one).
February: Someone I considered a friend (who I had had at my birthday party the year before) was a bit blab-y and I became known as "the girl with the blog." What blog? That they didn't know the details of. All the knew was that I supposedly trashed my CINO college and that I used a pseudo name. Was I afraid that I would be expelled for speaking the truth? Yes. After all, although everything I said was true, it was bad PR for the school. However, I have never mentioned my now alma mater by name so they couldn't sue me. On the bright side, I became "addicted" to attending daily Mass so I took comfort in that on my most trying days. Also, I attended my first Stations of the Cross since it was the first year I had a license during Lent and could, therefore, go without trouble. "D
March: Fr. Alexander Lewis (who was a favorite in my household and who helped me get a priest to confess my father for the first time in 40 years before he died in 2009) passed away. I still can't write this without tearing up. In fact, I am kind of seeing blurry through the tears. He was my and my mother's confessor; the first confessor my mother had in several years. Before we found out about his death, I fulfilled part of my dream of visiting all the California Missions by visiting Mission Santa Barbara about 2-3 hours north of Los Angeles. One less Mission on that mission. Yes, horrible joke. ;)
April: The beast known as my Senior Thesis was completed. I gave it the title "Go and Make Disciples of all Nations: Evangelization Efforts by and for Generation Y Using Catholic New Media." Can you guess what it was about? lol. Final page count was 53. In case you think no one has read it, both Angelica and Sr. Helena have copies of it. Bam! lol. I was overjoyed and stressed out, yet sad because it meant that I was about to graduate and head out into the world that I'd only dreamed about.
May: Big month for me. I FINALLY graduated college. It took me 8 years (on and off; a total of 5 full years) to pull it off. I graduated high school a year and a half early and then took some time off when my dad had his first fight with cancer. I started college and then my father was diagnosed with cancer a second time so I pulled back to part time to be able to take care of him. I took a semester off somewhere in between. I returned to school full time when the cancer returned. I was ready to transfer to my CINO college (before I knew how horrible it was, theologically speaking) when my father died. I took a year off between his death and my junior year to pull myself together. After years of taking care of my dad, mourning his death, taking care of myself, and going through so many hoops, I was able to graduate. It was the promise I made to my dad on his death bed -- that I would graduate college no matter what and I did. In honor of everything he did (he used to drive me to school and wait for me since I didn't start driving until early 2011), I took a locket with his picture and wore it on the day. My older brother, my two nephews, some of my neighbors and my mom were all there to see me walk that stage (with my head bowed down; I hated the attention. I blushed while wanting to hide, lol). Before the month ended, I was interviewed by Dustin for his 16-Bit Catholic podcast (which was a blast). Only my disastrous birthday adventure tainted the month. lol.
June: Fairly quiet month. My Football (Soccer) and Catholicism post became one of the most popular of the year. I still owe y'all that part two in which I am going to focus on the rivalry between Catholic Celtic FC and Protestant Rangers in the Scottish League. My post grad slump hit... hard, but I made it out of the month alive.
July: The third anniversary of my father's death came and I hit a depression phase for a couple of weeks. After some unpleasantness online, I decided to write a post about my bullying experience. Many of you learned why I suffer from anxiety because of that post. On the fun side, I let you guys know some fun facts about myself that many didn't know. :D
August: I was officially enrolled in the Brown Scapular and began my daily prayers of The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We had some health scares with mom (she has since pulled through). I wrote another one of my most popular blog posts this year -- a letter to my 17 year-old self. We saw a true miracle, my cousin's blind and mute grandson miraculously began seeing, first time since his birth. I decided to get over some of my difficulties towards the end of the month, using my phlegmatic-sanguine temperament to work with me instead of against me. I started having my stomach problems at the end of this month (that I am still suffering from to this day).
September: "God what is my vocation? What is my career?" Bam, I started my freelance career with a bang! Though I could not tell y'all what my jobs were then, y'all would soon find out. :D Not only that, I began tutoring and thus my "how am I going to start paying off my student loan?" worries were lifted off of my shoulders.
October: My first blog post for H&R Block's Block Talk was debuted. A massive "thank you" to Scott Gulbransen for the amazing opportunity. Also, you guys learned my actual name (instead of my pen name/nickname). Yeah, CINO college still can't sue me because I never mentioned the school nor the professors by name. BTW, I still prefer Emmy... and apparently so do some of my friends because my Christmas cards were made out to Emmy. lol. The Year of Faith began, as did my goal during it. A Pope Benedict XVI dream prompted a new vocation project... which is still private. Sorry!
November: Election time. I confessed to being a former liberal Democrat in a former life (prior to my reversion). I was inspired to begin What I Learned Wednesday. While it's still slow to catch up, it's getting there. Also, my little (adopted) brother, Brandon, was a guest blogger in the second part of my Catholicism and tumblr series.
December: With the start of Advent came the first What I Learned Wednesday post. I had a slow month this month (except for the persistent/pesky stomach issues).
As you can see, I had an interesting year. I faced my fears of graduating college, starting a new career, and being thrown out into the read world and moving on. Instead of feeling (or looking, lol) my actual age, I feel as though I am so much younger than I am because of how belated everything seems to have happened. In a way, I was afraid of this part of "growing up." I had "I wish my dad was here" moments sprinkled throughout the year because I felt as though I was moving on and leaving everything that reminded me of him behind, but I've come to see everything as a new chapter and beginning in my life.
I needed all of this. Though I didn't write about it, I also discerned the possibility of staying single (though I have since gotten little "giiirrl, that is not your vocation" signs) which used to scare the sarcasm out of me. I am sure my stomach problems (4 months and counting) are also part of a learning experience for me. Maybe all of this is to show me that I am stronger than I think and is thus preparing me for the next phase of my life, whatever it may be.
I thank God for every up and down this year because I feel as though it has made me the person that I am. I am grateful for the good and am sure the bad has been for my benefit whether I can see it now or not.
Thank you all for sticking with me through this year and here's hoping that next year is so much better. :D BTW, send me prayer requests -- I want to pull 365 days of praying for others. :D Have a wonderfully blessed New Years.
As always, thanks for reading and God bless. :D
P.S. Don't forget to vote for the patron saint. It closes at 11:59 p.m. PST tonight!