Posted by: HelenRortvedt | 1 January 2007


Last night, as I was surrounded by some of my best friends in the world and wrapped up in a genuinely great party, I was momentarily overwhelmed with thoughts of how much difference a year really can make. I stole away for a few minutes around 11pm to write these down:

31 December 2006

I am living the final hour of a year that has changed me more than any other to date. 2006 began with uncertainty, a lack of confidence, discomfort and a misunderstanding of myself. Twelve months later, I am surrounded by the same loving, amazing, unconditional friends, but have shed the layer of stagnation and non-inspiration…making for a far more enjoyable celebration of the coming of a new year.

In 2006, I was more challenged and simultaneously fulfilled, more curious, more confident and more independent than I can remember…

…I fell out of love–a process that inititally hurt, but ultimately revitalized me…

…I was driven back towards pursuing my passion for international educational development and social justice…

…I learned to rock climb, to kayak and speak a little Romanian…

…I traveled to a land of lakes and volcanoes I had been dreaming of for years, as well as to a European land I hardly even knew existed and never imagined I would see…

…I’ve made plans to travel to other places that have previously been just distant spots on a map…

…I led kids–young adults, really–through the wilderness of North Carolina…and learned more from them than I imagine they did from me…

…I met incredible, lifelong friends to add to the richness of my life (which was already well endowed with incredible friends!)…

…I watched two of my best friends marry each other this summer, and traveled through wild Nicaragua with two others…

There have been so many ups and noticeably few downs of 2006. Too many to mention here right now as a great party rages around me.

May this reflection serve as a precursor to a 2007 that is equally challenging, fulfilling and happy.

Life is about people and moments. Recognize and cherish both.

Cheers! Salud! Vi sanatos! Nos drovia! L’haim! To life!
And Happy New Year.


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