Well 2011, I expected a lot from you… and I’ll give it to you. You met my expectations. You gave to me, you took from me. You bore witness to landmark events of my life… you knew I would say farewell to this year a different person than the one who greeted it. As a member of the high school graduating class of 2011, my classmates and I looked forward to you for many years indeed. And in such respect you were gracious, watching me walk across a stage on June 6th, ranked 9th in my class of 35, and graduating with honors, scholarship, and a prestigious citizenship award. You gave me experiences I would never again be able to match. Watching my friends and I thrive in final days of each other’s company on the beaches of the east coast. After which we were to experience the splendor of eastern hemisphere for the first time, marveling at it’s hidden treasures. You took from me a mother temporarily, and a grandfather permanently. However you have left my faith in tact that there is a day unknown to me that I will see him again. You gave me my first employment, my first taste of adult life. The joy of the paycheck and the pain of its expenditure. The feeling of exhaustion, and perseverance of obligation. Testing my patience, and enhancing it just the same. You sent me off 200 miles away to the best college in the world. Thus watching me learn to live alone, make new friends, and struggle in studies. You gave me a new taste for coffee, and calf muscles built to walk up mountains. You took from me my glory, and watched me pass my crown to a new homecoming queen. You watched me give my heart to someone new. And get it broken. But none-the-less you watched me learn a lesson. A lesson that will last through the years. You added a year to my age. A rather insignificant year, equaling 19. Nothing special happens. You planted doubt of God in my mind for the first time in my life. You took from me my best dog… for that I have not forgiven you. and now, I’m savoring your last moments… or rather, wondering what to expect from your predecessor. 2012 has big shoes to fill. You have kept me busy; you’ve kept me on my toes. Never knowing what to expect. You gave me so much, so much that I never expected. You also took from me, some I expected and some I did not. To sum you up in a word… I choose “change.” Change, something I never had to deal with before, has suddenly reared its head. This seems to be my first real taste of change… an acquired taste, I feel, that I will find opportunity to acquire in the future.