Eve,

I haven’t been in the mood to write lately. Too preoccupied with courses, grading, finals, family, and life there were not enough hours in the days. The words swirled waiting for the perfect moment for release, now.

Its quiet and…I was driving down the 5 and listening to the Taylor Swift song State of Grace. Its such a beautiful song, and in it she says I never saw you coming, but I’ll never be the same. And it hit me. My word.

In 2011 my word was fortitude. Last year, my word was pray. I resolved to get closer to god, and enjoy the life residuals of that relationship. That left me in the place…in the state of grace because so many blessings came my way that I did not anticipate, yet have shaped me. So, for 2013 my word will be surrender. When I said it, my spirit smiled because of course she was pleased.

Surrender to what exactly? Surrender to blessings, to my gifts, to love, to life’s unexpected, to god. I thought how splendid it was. And then I thought how exhausting…but really the exhausting thing is fighting it. What happens when you indulge your instinct? When you listen to the little voice? When you go with your gut every single time without pause? It was never not going to be surrender.

One thing that has not escaped me has been the fact that I will miss you, Eve. I will be on a plane heading to Santiago, Chile for 10 days–my first international endeavor. When I reflect on how I got here I know, without hesitation, that I got here because I stopped telling myself I couldn’t. I stopped saying money was a barrier, I stopped believing that I was not the one who could speak of travel, I stopped and I surrendered. So this year will be more of that, more surrender.

One of my biggest inspirations is one of my best friends Latrisha. In her I see, literally see, what god’s potential looks like. She has, perhaps unknowingly, helped me to see it in myself. When I first began blogging I often wrote stories, advice or thoughts on my friend’s situations. Looking always beyond my own walls because the mirror hurt too much. Over the course of these almost FIVE YEARS (wow) I have learned to look at myself. I have learned to be honest with myself, to trust myself, and to love myself.

I used to hear people spew the clichè “you have to love yourself first…” and even when I agreed I could not fully understand or visualize what that looked like. I now know. It is constant forgiveness and making amends. It is acceptance, it is laughter and its joy. Its being silent and alone but not lonely. Its (so far) bliss.

So, Eve, while I will miss you I am glad I took the time to appreciate you. I usually take our time to tell my friends and family how much I love them. I will do so now.

I do believe that no one should go a single day without knowing they are loved. I am truly blessed to have a wonderful loving family: Mom and Michael and my dad got me to this point in my life and their belief in me, and unyielding support of me is priceless. My sisters: Kel and Mel are growing up so quickly and I love them so much. I would do anything for those two. My old friends: Kimberly, Julia, Jennie, Tre, Nikki, Katrina, Tiek, Ne, and Ken–they know me and love me despite me. And I love them with equal measure. My new friends: J, Michelle, Em, Mo, Marianne, Courtney, you have made this journey worth it and have been around during times of such immense change, may it continue to be an adventure, love you. Ty…we’re off right now but not forever…and to literally everyone else in my life know that my heart is with you and you have blessed me in COUNTLESS ways. I truly truly love you all.

If they never read a word of it, it doesn’t matter…love is not in words, however public they may be, love is in the doing. Love is in the life. Precisely why I plan to dedicate my 2013 surrendering my life to it. One of my new friends, JJW, send me signs for christmas. One says, Love is all you need. The other, love will save the day. That, along with the very beautiful card, were perhaps my favorite gift this season. Its because she got me.  And really not even me, she got “it”. This belief that I subscribe to that love is everything. So I have to take time for it.

Eve, 2013 is going to be a big year. I can feel it in my bones. And I plan to greet it with arms open to the sky, ready to receive.

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