Sunday, November 9, 2008


2004-2005, when I was seventeen, was the best year of my life. Every year I challenge myself to outlive it, be more than it and I never can. I'll turn 21 years old in a couple of weeks and I want to challenge myself again, to make this year beat my 17th. I got my first car when I was 17: black, foxy, sports car that hugged corners like it was a yo-yo goin' 'round the world. I spent the summer with friends: Lara, Kelsey, Kim. We played kickball in the park in the middle of the night with a gang of teens that laughed and didn't even drink. But yesterday, kayaking in a glassy nook of a lake laden with waves, I realized sitting in the peace, that it was the absolute perfect temperature. The sun hugged my back and the air was cool enough that I noticed my cheeks. Hannah was on my left and Brent on my right and we just sat there, in the quiet.

This year that is about to close, as my personal New Year's draws near, is a strong rival to number 17. I went to Colorado this year. I saw moose and peaked mountains. I lived in honest freedom, and now Obama is our President-elect, and this is a good year. This is a very good year. This year is something of the beautiful, something of the change, something of the hope. This year is one to love hot tea, try every week to complete a crossword puzzle, appreciate all kinds of cheeses and give Mexican food a chance. This is that year, and it will always be that year. So, in reality, there can be no rival to 17. There never was, because it stands alone, as a great year of change and new independence. I appreciate it by itself, as I should every year.

In two weeks, I will be 21 years old. I will not be the image from my twelve-year-old mind that thought far far into the future. I will not be anything more than two weeks old than today. But for my personal New Year's, I grant myself a new challenge: leave fuller than you came, Stephanie. Leave fuller than you came.

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