When I signed my name at work yesterday and then dated it "1/1/12," I was struck by the foreign, seemingly impossible year. How could 2012 be upon us when I'd never before imagined my life past the year 2011? It was likely the year of my life, in not just the events themselves but in the fact that I had spent nearly eight years looking forward to it. 2011 - the year I will graduate college and never again be a student, after nearly two decades of education, the year that I will begin my career, the year that we will finally be able to be together after seven years apart. The year that I will become a bride, a wife.
It was absurd to imagine it all happening when I started daydreaming in 2003, when I simply asked a boy to homecoming because he was cute and I liked him. "If we're still together," we'd say, at least wise enough in our youth to know that we, as a couple and as individuals, would evolve as we aged. It seemed downright impossible at times through the years, as we were both frustrated with the continual highs and lows, the uncertainly of knowing whether this - whether we - would be worth it. But as 2011 drew closer, the "ifs" turned into "whens" - and while the proposal surprised no one, we were simply content to be able to start planning our life together instead of dreaming about it.
Nearly eight years together, and most of that looking forward to 2011. It simply wasn't fathomable to reach past that year, that moment - and yet, here we are. Nearly everything about my life has changed since I started this journal in late 2003 - my closest friend, my home, my level of education, my relationships with my sisters as we evolved from girls to women, and legally, my identity - yet he has remained constant. I've been so focused on 2011 that I haven't spent a moment thinking about what is ahead of me this year and beyond.
2012 represents the first year of the rest of my life. I'm looking forward to living it.
Photo credit: (Crowe's Eye Photography)