I turned 22 on January 31st, and since my birthday I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on how dramatically my life has changed in only one year. Years are funny measures of time, if you think about it. They seem so long at times, so short at others. When I look back, I’ve noticed that one of two thoughts always comes to mind for me. 1) “Wow, a whole year gone by and nothing has changed.” or 2) “I can’t believe so much has changed in a year!” My 21st year definitely draws the second response.
On the weekend of my 21st birthday, I distinctly remember one feeling: self pity. Don’t get me wrong, my actual birthday was great. My mom came down to Madison to visit me. We got margaritas at Frida’s, saw “Rent” at the Overture and did some shopping, and it was a great day. But right around the same time I found myself looking at my life and thinking, “I’m not happy…what am I doing wrong?” I was stressed and lonely…and it didn’t help that my parents got a puppy the same weekend when I’ve wanted a dog forever (still do!)
Fast forward to my 22nd birthday. Actually, in pretty much all aspects, this year was the complete opposite of last. During the week and weekend of my birthday, I had a fantastic time. I was surrounded by the people I love and I couldn’t shake the feeling of “I’m so lucky!” My actual birthday, on the other hand, was pretty uneventful.
In the past year, I’ve accomplished some amazing things. I took the LSAT. I applied and was admitted to law school, which I will be starting next fall. I finally earned a full spot in Rank 7 after 3 years of hard work to get there, and I marched the best pregame and halftime shows of my life at the Rose Bowl this past January. Those were things that I did. But I think it’s the things that I had pretty much no control over that made all the difference.
Shaun coming back into my life this year, after about 5 years of not dating, was the most unexpected turn of events. A year ago, I thought I’d never find love. Now, I can’t imagine my life without him. That’s how life works sometimes. I’m still the same old motivated, over-achiever Kim, but having Shaun in my life has finally made me happy. That’s why I’ve had the best year ever.