Life is rough. Every year I think, "Next year will be better. Everything will be smooth sailing, and nothing THIS bad can happen." Then BAM! The next year comes, and I am humbled once again by my arrogant thoughts. As I was going to bed at 9pm on New Years Eve, (I know, such a party animal.) it occurred to me that life will never be easy. Each year has it's own set of unique challenges and circumstances. Some years are better than others, but none will ever be easy.
So, Dec. 31, 2012, I decided that instead of making resolutions, I would pray instead for the things I struggle with the most. The number one issue that always weighs heavily on my heart is the fact we live in New Jersey. (Please don't laugh. It really is an issue.) We have wonderful friends up here that make each week bearable. I volunteer as much as possible. I really love volunteering. (It must be because I'm from the Volunteer State...kidding). I consider this place my home. My husband and son live here. My grocery store is here. Most of my friends are here. My church is here. The besssstttttt cheesesteaks are right across the river. There are a gazillion cool museums. You get the point. For every good thing we have going here, I can name 10 that I really really detest about this place: the amount of concrete, the accent, the lack of trees and wildlife, no mountains, nowhere to get good southern food, the fast pace of life, the state income tax, the property taxes, (did i mention taxes?), the lack of family... Oh, and I can't eat Sunday dinner at Grandma Bonnie's anymore, see my cousins, roll my eyes at my Uncle Teddy, or go camping with the Joneses, or see any of my family, really. I asked God to show me why living in New Jersey was the right decision for our family.
I woke up January 1, and I had a text message from a friend I haven't seen in 3 years. I met him in discussion section for one of my anthropology classes, and unfortunately for him, I made a friend for life. We moved to New Jersey in 2010, and we thought we'd never be able to see him again. That same year, he left to serve his mandatory 2 year military service in the South Korean Army. He told me he was in NYC for new years, so we made plans to have lunch with him that day. During our hours of walking around the city, talking, and eating delicious pizza, he told me something off the cuff. He had no idea how profound it was to me. He said, "If you didn't move here, we'd probably have never been able to see each other again." I know it seems to trivial, but I've really missed Jipsung. We used to walk to class together every day, and then have lunch. He was the first friend I made after moving to Indiana, and he introduced me to one of my best friends on the planet. I'll forever be indebted.