Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Brave: 2013 a year in review

A little more than a year ago I was sitting on a beach in Hawaii, deciding what my word would be for 2013. Inspired by Susannah Conway and her workbook Unraveling the Year Ahead, I wanted to pick a word that I could use to push me forward in my year of change. Nothing seemed more daunting then graduating high school and leaving for college 1400 miles away. Knowing that I would be faced with making new friends, trying new things, and managing mostly on my own I figured I could use some guts. So I picked brave. Let's look back at how this word, thought to myself, pushed me to take so many opportunities in these past 365 earthly rotations.

Tiny House Workshop

In April I took my bike (and my parents) down to Portland for a PAD tiny house workshop weekend. This was the first time I thought to myself, be brave. I didn't know anyone who would be there and on top of that I would be attending the workshop solo. But I did it anyway and met some wonderful people (like Lina). My biggest lesson here was that it's worth it to do what you love- you'll make friends along the way!

You Can't Take It with You

 Yes, that's me swooning in the apron on the left. Somehow I went from managing auditions to getting a part in my high school's spring show. It might have had something to do with my grabbing a script and hopping up on stage with the other auditioners. My previous acting consisted of a single monologue in Drama 1 as a freshman, so I was fairly unprepared. And did I mention I had to attempt a Russian accent? Stepping out from behind the stage manager's script was a true test of my bravery and an experience I'm glad I had (though I'm highly unlikely to repeat).

I marched across that stage and gladly accepted my diploma, knowing this meant change was to come!

I spent this summer traveling to the Oregon coast, the California redwoods, and volunteering at farm camp thorough the lovely Common Threads Farm. This was my first time working with kids and leading cooking activities. Surprisingly, that took some bravery. Teaching kids about healthy eating and cooking is my plan for the future, and I didn't want to start off poorly. I got the hang of it, though, which leads me to....

Undergraduate Research
Ask, and you shall receive. Be brave. I kept these two things in mind as I met with a professor at CSU who currently runs a research program in the prevention of childhood obesity. Simply by asking I was able to work with graduate students teaching cooking and tasting lessons in 4th grade classrooms across two school districts. This project (and my participation in it) will continue through my four undergraduate years at CSU. Truly a dream come true.

I made friends, accepted my introverted self, and fell in love with blues dancing. All by being brave enough to say yes to new adventures.

Being back home has made me realize how much having brave as my word guided me to live fully in the past year. I accepted so many opportunities that I might have said no to before, and I see the positive way my life has changed as a result. Through 2014 I will have a new word and though it won't be brave, bravery will continue to be a part of my life.

As I wrote on the cover of my planner, "You get in life what you have the courage to ask for" -Oprah Winfrey. In the coming year I ask for life, love, gratitude, and grace.

Enjoy today,
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