If I could choose one word to describe my year it would be love; finding my way back to love, learning to love myself, choosing to walk away from love, discovering the unconditional love that surrounds me everyday. 2013 was a year full of a lot of ups and downs for me, but through it all, love, in so many different forms, flowed constantly and kept me steady.
I began the new year on the heels of a year full of healing. 2012 was about finding my way back to the happy go lucky, carefree teenager I was before my freshman year in college. Throughout the year I realized that even if I couldn’t go back, I was finding a new way to deal with it all and finding a new version of myself. My goal for 2013 was to take that healing, take the new Kelsey, and fall back in love with my life. Stop surviving, and start living. I went back to Marquette for my second semester of my sophomore year and things started falling back into place for me. I threw myself into dance, my sorority, being a college student and slowly the days stopped seeming endless. Everyone used to tell me that one day you would wake up and just start feeling better. I called bullshit every single time, until I did. I just woke up one day and realized that I couldn’t remember the last time I had a bad day, which in retrospect is really incredible because there was a long period of time where the dark days far surpassed the good ones. I woke up and I realized that the “new Kelsey” was someone that was so loved, and in turn found a way to love myself again, all the broken pieces included. Slowly loving life and loving myself didn’t seem like such a task, it came easy. And with that loving someone else came easy too.
As cheesy and stereotypical as it sounds, my summer was one filled with the magic of love. I got to spend the summer with my high school sweetheart, my best friend, my first love, and my other half. I spent the entire summer and beginning of my junior year filling in all the broken pieces of my heart with new memories with him. Meeting his family, going on amazing adventures, planning our futures, reminiscing on our past – we crammed it all into an amazing six months. Most of all though, he taught me to believe again; believe that love exists, that it has the power to heal, to change your life for the better and to make you question how you ever survived without it. I got to spend my year in that kind of love, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in this world. As summer turned to fall and we went back to our respective schools and lives, we both learned the harsh lesson that even the most magical love doesn’t always stand the tests of time and distance, but it doesn’t take away anything from the impact his love had on my life.
By the time the calendar hit November, love had already taken over 2013 and changed pretty much everything. The last couple months I have been pleasantly surprised time and time again when I realize how much love surrounds me everyday. I always knew I had an incredible family who loved me unconditionally, but this year I got to live with my best friends and witness their unconditional love. I took an opportunity and changed pretty much everything I had planned for my future, and when I expected everyone to tell me how crazy I was, I was met only with kindness and support.
Who knew that in a span of 365 days love could consume my life so much? Falling back in love with my life was definitely not an easy process, but the results are unlike anything I could have imagined. It is such an incredible feeling to read my writing from this time last year and see how much things have changed, in a good way. So here’s to the last 365 days, 12 months, 52 weeks, 529600 minutes. Thanks to the people that have filled my life with so much love and taught me to love in a much better way. I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store.