2009: the little year that was

This year has been such a full, rich, amazing year.

I finished my International Relations major and my Development major – only two more Journalism/Mass Communications subjects to go!

I spent an entire year working on a group project and came away from the experience not only with a great grade and some life lessons, but three very special girlfriends.

I lived in our lounge room for a couple of months while our house was fixed up and realised how important it is to me to have a space that is my own.

I pulled out the old ballet shoes, found an adult ballet school and started taking class again.

I quit my job, ran out of money, and had to stop dancing for awhile.

I quit my job, lived off the Bank of Mum and Dad for a semester and was then offered an awesome position at Nexus Church. In the three short weeks I’ve been working there, I’ve become the Meeting Request Queen, renamed the GANTT chart after myself (now to be referred to as the Laura Chart), got my very first business card, drank coffee!!!, had my office broken into and flown 150 metres through the air down to the forest floor, 25 metres below.

I made new friends, kept old ones, and realised how truly blessed I am to have so many amazing people in my life.

I struggled my way through Thursday Spanish classes, mispronouncing just about everything, irritating every perfectionist bone in my body but sticking at it anyway, at least for most of the year.

I learnt that ignoring my inner perfectionist is sometimes the only option, and that doing so might increase the chance of failure, but it completely and totally widens the boundaries of possibility.

I fogged up car windows on Mt Cootha…… with a group of gorgeous girlfriends.

For a few months there, I spent every Tuesday morning with the coolest bunch of little kids. For the whole year, I spent every second Tuesday evening (well, almost) with my super special connect group family.

I became a New Zealand citizen, and managed to keep my Aussie citizenship. I learnt that it is not only possible, but also highly likely, to have a really bad passport photo rejected in favour of a really really really really really bad alternative. The Kiwi version of myself looks like a drugged-out thief, with a bad mullet.

I learnt more about my real identity, who I really am and why I’m here on this planet. My relationship with Jesus grew  and I spent much of the year re-learning again just how much love He has for me. And for you.

I learnt where baby optopuses come from. It’s not a pretty story.

I celebrated so many special nights with so many special, recently-turned-21 year olds. I had the most amazing 21st birthday myself, including a great party with incredible people, and an amazing safari in Ngorongoro Crater.

With much help, I got a new passport, a visa, a couple of vaccinations, seats on the planes, accomodation and everything else one needs to go to Tanzania in the space of about three weeks.

After an amazing, whirlwind tour of Tanzania, I was really incredibly proud of my church, who already sponsor children, give to the church and other organisations, and in the midst of an economic downturn, took it upon themselves to sponsor over 200 children from the fantastic Compassion projects we visited.

I realised that regrets steal too much energy from the present.

I witnessed friends get married, have babies, move overseas, move back from overseas.

I wrote well over 25,000 words for assessment, 163 blog posts and 469 tweets. I’ve realised that blog posts and tweets come much more easily in the thick of exams and essay-writing.

I spent many nights out at Three Monkeys, many more at Baskin and Robbins and even more at Nandoes – always with great people.

I wrapped myself up in a tarp with Roshni and caterpillar crawled right across the pavillion. I stuck my nose to Kate’s knee and her right hand to my left foot and raced across the pavillion. I painted war paint on my face and stocked up on rotten tomatoes for the most crazy flour/water/tomato fight ever. I had so much fun at Encounter every Friday night.

I learnt that every single situation you find yourself in offers up a lesson to be learnt. I learnt that sincere encouragement gives you the power to do just about anything.

I discovered YouTube for the first time. Of course, I had been on YouTube many a time in the past, to check out videos friends had sent through or recommended. But one day this year, the whole magnitude of YouTube really hit me and I realise that I could search just about anything, from anywhere, and there would be a video about it. I spent the rest of the day watching clips of the Paris Opera Ballet, you know, because that’s what I’m in to. Seriously though, a great day for all involved!

2009 was another blessing and I am so grateful to every single person that was part of my life this year. An old friend or new, each of you have taught me something new about life, about love, about myself and about God. Above any memory or achievement or success, it is you that have made this year both incredible and worthwhile.

And, of course, it is with incredible excitement that I look forward to 2010. I think it will be a pretty pivotal year in my life – I know that it will be my last year at uni (for this degree at least) and probably my last year living at home. Come 2011, without lectures and tutorials holding me down and hopefully a healthy bank account full of moolah, who knows where I will be in the world – and that promise of adventure excites me no end!

But as excited as I am about 2011, I am just as excited, if not moreso, about 2010. I’m looking forward to getting the most out of the last few classes I take. I’m looking forward to seeing Nexus Church continue to flourish. I’m looking forward to hearing more from God, learning more about God, being loved more by God. I’m looking forward to getting my teeth stuck into some new projects. I’m looking forward to making new friendships and keeping up old ones. I’m looking forward to the fun, the laughter, the challenges and the adventure.

2010 – bring it on.

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