Wow, 2010, you treated me well. Thank you for all the fun, the joy, the laughter, the smiles, the cries, the accomplishments and even the little failures that led to bigger, more important successes. Thank you for the relationships that grew exponentially and the relationships that simmered. Each shed new light and molded me into who I am today. Thank you for your rollercoasters because without them, life would be boring. Thank you for being better than 2009. And I hope you don't take this personally, but I hope 2011 kicks your butt :)

Here are just a few snapshots that made my 2010 pretty epic:

[Coachella...need I say anything more?]


[Graduating with Jamie!]

[Berkeley with my best friend!]

[Harvest Crusade with my love & best friend]

[Jamie's going-away BBQ]

[Mine and Mark's going-away party]

On January 1, 2011, I sat by my dad's office window overlooking the ocean as the sun began to rise. Everyone else was running around, so I had a moment to myself to watch the golden sun crawl over the water's horizon. And it was truly spectacular. As I marveled at its beauty, I couldn't help but think that the actual moment when I could see the sun poking over the edge was so symbolic of my 2010. Long before the sun actually popped over the horizon, I could see the sky light up but it seemed like eternity before the sun actually appeared. In fact, I was growing impatient until I finally told myself, "Stop. Relax. Be patient. And enjoy." Then, I marveled and appreciated.

Exactly one year ago, I had been home for 2 weeks from an amazing 4 months in Lyon, France. I was happy to be home but reluctant and nervous for the upcoming changes in my life. For the first time ever, I had to think about life after college, finances, work, relationships, etc. and it scared me like no other. The new change excited me because that meant new adventures and challenges, which meant I'd get to experience new accomplishments. But even though I tried to remind myself to take it all in stride, I wanted to control everything and have a plan A and plan B for every possible scenario life might throw at me. Well, I'm sure you're all thinking, "That's silly," but by all means, I tried and I failed miserably. I'd end up frustrated and angry at myself and the world. It only took a matter of time before I realized I needed to...yep, you guessed it..."Stop. Relax. Be patient. And enjoy."

Graduation came and went, which was really fun, and then it was time for my 6-week roadtrip across the country with my wonderful family. And let me tell you, wonderful family + wonderful adventure does not always equal wonderful times. We definitely had our ups and downs (as every family does), but I learned more about my family in those 6 weeks than ever before. And more importantly, without knowing it at the time, I came to appreciate and love them so much more (all their quirky tendencies included!)

Here are some photos of the roadtrip, but you can check out the whole thing by clicking on the 2010 posts on the right-hand side of this blog :)









The next step was deciding what to do when I got back. Was it teaching in Korea? Finding a job at home? Go to grad school? A couple doors closed for teaching opportunities in Korea, so I began looking into other avenues, such as teaching in Thailand, Vietnam or China. But that search didn't go very far. For some reason, despite not knowing when or how or why, I knew I needed to be in Korea. And 4 months later, I'm here to tell you that I'm glad I listened to that voice inside my head :)

[If I didn't come, how could I appreciate moments like these?!]

These first few months in Korea proved to be challenging yet rewarding at the same time. And yet again, I found myself frustrated for not getting immediate answers. But all it took was a little faith, a little prayer and a lot of perseverance, and I can honestly tell you, I'm at a wonderful place now. And more than anything, the biggest blessing has been the new and old relationships in my life--Mark, Jamie and my dad to name a few. Without them, God knows how lonely I'd be!

Last year, on January 19, I had a blog post titled "Reflexion." At the end of it, I wrote this:

Change is a part of life. Change is something that is inevitable. It's not easy. It's not bad. In fact, most of the time, change makes you stronger, more mature, thoughtful, cultured, etc. I can't wait to see what these changes entail for my life. I love this life I've been blessed with. This is what I must remember.

It's funny to see that despite being a year apart, these two reflection posts parallel each other in many, many ways. I'm excited for 2011...bring it on!

Until next time, bisous xoxo


Sharon.Mom.Granny said...

Beautiful Liz...just beautiful!

Brittany (Shafer) Lindvall said...

Elisabeth, I really enjoy reading your blog! Thanks for keeping it up! :) (I don't know if you'll remember me, my family used to attend CCEA.)