31 December 2015

A Letter from 2015

Jet lag or new routine adjustment or plain exhaustion somehow found me awake at four in the morning. So now I'm curled up in a cozy corner of the living room with blankets and pillows, toast and homemade hot chocolate, looking at the Christmas tree lights and listening to Haley Stewart's Christmas playlist, thinking about the last twelve months. This year has been one of the best and most exciting years of my life.

In January, I started a new job at a tutoring center, where I discovered that children are hilarious, teaching is very enjoyable and Korean is fun to learn. I gained more confidence with teaching and with kids because of this job and will always be thankful for that.

In May, I truly began to freak out about my ability to be a decent wife, and at the end of the month I GOT MARRIED (?!). Our wedding was a beautiful and practically perfect day. I loved our Nuptial Mass, which we celebrated in the old rite with an amazing priest, incense we got to design ourselves (with orange and rose. I wish I had a perfume like that incense), a gorgeous choir and our family and friends. We topped off the celebration at an Irish pub with whiskey, poor dancing and many flavors of cake. I am more in love with and thankful for the husband God gifted me with every day.

In July, Christopher and I went to Washington DC as a mini honeymoon. We got to see so many sites, my favorite of which was the National Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. It is a massive church with great, colorful mosaics splashed everywhere. It was nice to be a tourist there at the 4th of July.

In August, we visited my family in Illinois where my mother put on a reception for family who were unable to travel to the wedding. It was so good seeing people I hadn't seen for over a year. It was also good to see my little monkey of a cousin. I'm hoping she becomes a pianist. I became incredibly nostalgic when I realized I was going off to start my own life.

In the same month, we made the move to Texas where Christopher is continuing his PhD. Texas has been immensely friendly and welcoming. I've made friends that I think I'll keep all my life, joined an editing business and entered into one of the happiest times of my life. I truly think I could become a southern girl and I don't terribly mind the 70 degrees in December either. ;)

In December, we traveled to Rome and Venice for two weeks as a belated honeymoon. ROME and VENICE! TWO WEEKS! Even though we've been back for a couple of days, I still have trouble believing it happened. I count myself incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to travel to Italy, which has been my number one destination for years. Given my conversion, my experience in Rome was so much more meaningful than I anticipated. A post (or a few) on the adventure is forthcoming and I'll share all the details there. You can catch a few glimpses on my instagram, siriuscomet2, in the meantime.

All these things considered, 2015 has not been without negativity. I have had difficult work experiences. An old friend and family member died this year. Multiple moves have been stressful. Self-doubt has entered the picture several times. I'm trying to focus less on the negatives, because I notice that when I do, everything becomes that much worse.

But no matter what, there is forgiveness in the sacrament of Confession. There is beauty in the Mass. There is incomparable joy in the Eucharist. No matter what happens in my life, God holds everything together. He has been present in each high and each low. He has guided me to this point in my life.

I am reminded of Pope Benedict XVI's words to the youth in Madrid:

"Dear friends, may no adversity paralyze you. Be afraid neither of the world, nor of the future, nor of your own weakness. The Lord has allowed you to live in this moment of history so that, by your faith, his name will continue to resound throughout the world."

May God bless you in the new year!