It was the year of non-stop work. It was the year of the illness of death. It was the year of no travel, no theater, no sunlight. It was a year for questioning everything I hold dear, wondering if the path I was taking really, truly was the right path (it was). It was a year of hard won recovery after some rather emotionally abusive relationships. It was a year. of. trial.
(There were some good things too. But, not going to lie, I wouldn't relive it.)
In the back of my mind, the storyteller part of my mind, I knew that if I survived the year with faith and hard work and determination, then sometime it would all pay off. The dearth of theater. The lack of travel. The frustration in feeling so lost with who I was and my place in the universe. So I kept going. Worked hard. Bit the bullet of endless responsibility. Fought for what I believed in and came to new understandings about myself and others. Overcame weaknesses. I left 2011 battle scarred and exhausted, but triumphant.
I knew it would pay off, I just didn't expect it to pay off quite this much.
I don't just have one potential show to be a part of this year - I have at least three. And I know for sure that two of them are going to work out.
I won't be going to England like I wanted to, but I will be going on a fantastic trip to the Southeast - Williamsburg, Charleston, Savannah, and Orlando. It's a part of the country I've always wanted to see but never had the chance. Now's my chance.
I am still busy with school and business running, but business running is paying off (literally and metaphorically) in fantastic ways. Plus, as an added bonus, I get to stay at the same school next year instead of moving schools (again), and I'm ecstatic. I love my school and my coworkers and (nearly all) of my students. And, what's also nice, is they seem to like me too.
I am not perfect, but I am learning to be more accepting of where I am in the world and the path I am on. I am striving to do the right thing. Even if my "right" seems strange compared to the "traditional" path people take, I am confident that the Lord knows what He's doing. I feel, for the first time in a long time, peace with myself.
And, best of all, I will be able to go to the temple. I have dreamed and prayed and begged for that chance for so long, and finally the Lord agreed that now is a good time. As a person who generally prides herself on her skills in hiding emotion, at least when it's of the sappy and personal variety, I am quite sure that every time I think of this particular blessing, my cup overflows again and I feel more gratitude than my eyes can contain. 50 days. 50 days and I will be there. With friends and family that I love.
Life is good, friends. I feel as though I understand just a little bit of what the Lord talks about when he says he will bless us and there will not be room enough to receive it. I find myself so full of gratitude that I almost feel guilty, knowing that there are so many other people in the world to bless who have overcome so much more than just working hard, or people who are still struggling with no end in sight - but I'll take it. I'll take it and enjoy it with every ounce of my soul I can spare so that when another 2011 comes around, I'll be ready to tackle it too.