I probably shouldn’t be sitting here blogging when I need to pack stuff. But I want to give people time to make a few last remarks before I leave early Tuesday morning.
Not to make this sound like an acceptance speech, but I’d like to say thanks. First and foremost, I thank God because He has gotten me this far in my life. I have never felt so blessed as I do now, and I don’t care what anyone says, He is the first and foremost in my life and without Him I don’t know where I would be.
Next, I thank my parents and my brother. Never have you said that I *can’t* do something, never have you said that I should do *something else*. You’ve watched me grow and learn and succeed. You’ve watched me make decisions and make mistakes. My standards and my values are so high because you have taught me to be the very best I can be and to never settle for less.
To Cecily, I love you so much. You are my best friend, and I feel so lucky to have you in my life. Your loyalty and friendship has made me want to be a better person, and I feel so honored that you look up to me, but I also look up to you because of your determination to never give up, no matter what happens.
To my closest friends, thank you so much for making every day a joy for me. Every chance I’ve gotten to spend with you, I always treasured it in my heart and thought, “This is what makes life worthwhile.” I wish I could have seen all of you more often, but I know I’ll never forget any of you.
To my Grandma, who taught me the importance of the simple things like writing letters and keeping written journals, all while keeping up with the present that is computers and e-mails. (I’m not sure how many people can say that their grandparents use the computer, but it’s very cool that mine do!) You always reminded me of God’s grace and how important it is to never take things for granted. Thank you.
To my teachers, the ones who did more for me than simply teach, the ones who told stories and jokes (good and bad), and the ones who cared about me more than they had to–thank you. A single enjoyable teacher makes the school day all the more worthwhile, even if the others are there simply to do their job and leave. It takes a village to raise a child, and in addition to my parents, you have taught me very valuable lessons that make me the person I am.
That’s all the thanks I can do for now. I still have a laundry list of things to do. I’m nervous, probably more than I am excited. I’m very eager to get everything done so I can relax and prepare mentally for this journey. This experience is going to change my life, I am certain of that. How my life will change is for me to find out over the next year.
But none of this would be possible without everyone around me, so once again, thank you.