Thank you, 2012

Christmas is one week away. I’m absolutely ready for it—read: I still have one sibling, out of 5, to get a gift for—but it’s still hard to believe that the year is almost ending. 2012 has gone by quickly.

When trying to reflect on this year, I don’t look back on it as a particularly hard or particularly amazing year. At least in comparison to all the others. It was a challenging year, yes, but I’ve gone through other various challenges in other years. It was a hard year on my heart, possibly more so than others, but I’m not letting that be the mark of this year. It was a great year in terms of creating memories with my friends, taking risks, and just moving forward—and it won’t be the last year like that.

If there’s any life lesson I have learned and taken to heart, it’s that life is about evolving. It’s about growing, learning, becoming better. Not wasting time and energy striving for perfection, but working towards better and just enjoying life.

And I’m glad to say I’ve done pretty well with all of that this year. Despite any rough times, I’m happy and moving forward. It’s far from perfect, or even awesome all the time, but I like my life. I can’t imagine anywhere I’d want to live other than Chicago. I have some amazing friends who have supported me and I have so many good memories with. I’ve got a home near the beach, no real need for a car, a decent job, I’m in school again, and I’m out there living and trying and failing and I’m more than ok with all of that. Life. Is. Good. Despite the tragedies and hard times, I love my life and I’m going to continue moving forward.

Some highlights of this year:

– Applying, and getting accepting into the University of Chicago’s Writer’s Studio for Short Story.

– Being with my friends as they performed at the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Theater in DC, recorded on a wax cylinder at the Thomas Edison Museum, performed at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago, performed with Andrew Bird three times (and you know, me being completely awkward around him before finally getting to meet him), and a whole score of other amazing venues.

– Celebrating my birthday, and 3 years, with my Mucca family. (I love you all!)

– My amazing friend Rebekah got married!!

– Working my butt off and getting promoted to Director.

– Not feeling ashamed about my anxiety. Yes, it keeps me from doing a lot, and even from social gatherings with friends, but I’m not going to let anyone (including myself) belittle me or make be feel terrible because of it.

– Spending more times with my grandparents, and the memory I hope will always be with me of my grandma and her fake owl “Hoots”…

– My cousin had a baby who I can’t wait to meet—and I also got to know, and love, their adorable pit bull. Now want a pit bull.

– A website I helped build won a Webby.

– My niece. She’s a highlight of every year, I love her so.

And there are so many small things too. As I have said and said again: Life is good. Thank you, 2012. I’m excited about whatever 2013 will bring: new projects, change, more writing, more memories, and just more fun.

What’s one of your highlights from this year??

I voted for…

A President I can believe in.

A President who believes in equal rights, regardless or race, gender, or sexual orientation.

A President who believes in equal pay for equal work.

A President who not only respects women, but is trying to build a better future for them. A President who sets a great example for all men–husbands and fathers.

A President who is making great changes in healthcare. Where others in my situation won’t have to wait for treatment because of “pre-existing conditions”… Where just being a woman won’t be a pre-existing condition.

A President who didn’t start new wars, and is working towards peace.

A President who could bring a brighter future for myself, for my sisters, and for my niece.

A President who didn’t blatantly lie about Jeep moving jobs to China just to win Ohio.*

A President who has shown stronger faith without forcefully pushing his religion on others.

A President who took a country in a bad situation and started building a country we could believe in again. A future that doesn’t absolutely terrify me–a future that moves forward.

I participated in early voting today, and I think I’m going to do that every time. So easy. Though I didn’t get an “I voted!” sticker…

We cannot sit idly by this election. There is no “my vote doesn’t matter.” Every vote matters. We cannot risk four years of a prejudice president, of a man who says anything to anyone to get what he wants, a man who thinks less of women, and even less of a person if the don’t love the “right” person. A man who would take unnecessary forceful action, spend money needlessly to do so.  A man who doesn’t care about the every day lives of people, who thinks help should be limited and privilege  not something that should be offered to all those who are in true need.

We need a President we can believe in, one who can make us proud of our country.

It’s not just my future, but yours too. So vote.

*Seriously. Even Chrysler/Jeep sent out a statement saying he was wrong, they’re not moving jobs from Ohio to China, an that they’re looking to expand in Ohio.